Saturday, January 25, 2014
Have You Noticed?
A question from a character in a book. "Do you ever wonder about the way things look - about what we see and what we miss?"
She's just been given a death sentence cancer diagnosis and in her shock notices how clear everything looks to her, and realizes at the same time that she's never really taken the time to look at what passes for mundane - leaf shadows, the laugh lines on someone's face, the way the grass moves in the wind.
I don't want to wait until I'm on my way out to notice all the things that make life extraordinary. So I sit at my window and watch the way the snowflakes leap in the wind and the way the small birds at the feeder puff themselves out like little feather balls to keep warm. The horizon is invisible behind the falling snow and the gray haze of leafless trees.
Yesterday I hung laundry in the bright sunshine. The first piece of clothing was frozen before I hung the last but by midday the pants and shirts were dancing with one another, arms and legs flapping in time to the music of the wind. I made a pot of soup and watched the carrots and peas and beans take turns bubbling up to the surface only to dive again, like vegetable kids in a summer pond.
I walked along the roadside while the wind ruffled the faux fur on my hood and ducked under it to smite my cheeks and nose. The air smelled bright and metallic. Brilliant red berries stood out like sentries against the brown sameness of a line of trees.
Earlier a friend came for lunch. Her hair curled in little tendrils about her face and when she smiled her eyes lit up. The cottage smelled of hot soup and toasted bread. Our spoons made little clinking sounds against the bowls, the water in our glasses shimmered.
I vow to pay attention to the small things, to the way the pages of the book whisper when I turn them, the way the silence of the cottage is filled with small sounds - the tick of the clock, the clank of the radiator, the sigh of the door when it closes. I don't want to miss a thing.