One afternoon, last week, I was running some errands. Here’s the thing about Michigan… There will almost always been a grassy patch in the middle of city, and in that grassy patch there is a good chance you will see some form of wildlife. (I have seen more deer, bunnies and random other creatures in the middle of ordinary urban lawn patches than when I have been out in nature hoping for such encounters.) Anyway, last week I was going about my busy day, caught up in my list and life and adulthood and how those things often play together to cover a moment’s unique beauty by grown up necessity.
I eased slowly out of the parking spot and pull forward to begin the exit from the lot when suddenly the largest rabbit I have ever seen goes loping from the grassy and wildflower riddled patch on my right, over to the more lush patch on my left. While the moment caught me with a combined sense of wonder and the mental beginnings of a good comedy bit about giant bunnies crossing the road, I quickly came to terms with the fact that I am not a comedian. Instead I parked once again and thought about what had just happened. I observed the rabbit, all fur and grace and cuteness. In the way that an optometrist flicks a lens to change our vision, I took in the various wildflowers around this bunny and I. The purple and orange petals speckling the sea of swaying green. Here next the banquet hall and pizza place was something so ordinarily beautiful, but how often had I not noticed? A path I had not only taken hundreds of times, but this very parking lot was one I had been in four times that week alone.
What else was I missing, because I simply refused to look?
I have been on this adventure to live a life of more intention, for a while. Each day I grow a bit more observant and a tad more grateful for what I see. Last week I stumbled into an ordinary super market, only to find that it was a blissful place of inspiration and deliciousness. It has been five days since that accidental encounter and I have ached to go back every day, ever since. Ached to go to a grocery store? I know… It sounds ridiculous.
Over the weekend we grilled dinner and opened a small little bottle of blackberry wine. I sat with it resting on my tongue for a bit. Sure, I get that this isn’t how one is supposed to drink wine, but I didn’t care. Gone were rash fears of tooth decay or programmed routines of dissecting the notes with my palate. I simply wanted to feel that tingle and taste that fruit for a little while longer.
On Saturday we went to a little Korean restaurant we have loved for years. As I dipped my chopsticks into various dishes, I reached out to try the things I was sure I did not like before. I tried them in combination with other things and my taste buds exploded in delight. When we are honest, isn’t this what savoring life’s little bits is really about? Taking in the good, with the bad? Resting on the balancing line, alert but content to be there and learn what we can while we are? Maybe I am wrong, but these days those moments when I keep myself in check and do just that are the times when I feel like I am exactly where I should be.
In our new living room we painted some walls blue, and some walls white. In the corner where the walls meet it is impossible to say if this is a blue room or a white room, but is that really a necessity anyhow? This is a room, it is our room. Our living room in our home and we love it. The same with life. Some moments are hard, others are not. This does not make it a hard life, or an easy one, but simply a life. Not one-dimensional, not shallow, not pure bliss. A canvas of peaks and valleys and hues of many shade. The piece is not done yet, and I am glad. By the time it is, may I have this intentional, simplistic and peaceful thing down pat. Until then, I’ll keep trying.
That giant rabbit is just living his life. He knows a busy street is right there, and I’m sure he realizes many a creature has died at its truth. Even so, there he is, doing his bunny thing. I want to be like that rabbit. I don’t want to be deaf to the roar of danger just over there, but I want to live happy and content in what I’ve got right here- my beautiful corner of blue and white…