An Invitation to Look Again
ah, in the corner
winter chrysanthemum, red
~ Teijo Nakamura
This week will be jam-packed with gifts and activities, so many that it’s easy to overlook a few of the most important ones that create meaning in my life. Time with family and friends; a warm, comfortable house; and an abundance of food would top the list.
Nakamura reminds me of the simple pleasure of nature, whether it is brought inside or enjoyed outside. A beautiful plant that brightens a dark day is a reminder of a thoughtful friend and the smell of pine an invitation to slow down and breathe deeply. A brisk walk in the cold can clear my head and help me focus. Listening to the call of birds or the crunch of snow helps me appreciate the stark beauty of winter and connects me with the seasons.
Beyond the gifts of nature, I find other gifts throughout my days when I take another look: good health, joy, contentment, gratitude, and generosity; the gift of silence or heart-felt words; an engrossing book with a cup of hot tea; moving my body in a yoga practice or playing hide and seek with my grandchildren. All of these help me look beyond the excess of the holidays to the true gifts, not only of this season, but in life. What else am I missing? Let me look again.