I think I have been living with my eyes closed for the past 42 years. I’m starting to realise there are so many things I haven’t seen. How can I possibly have missed them all?
I blogged recently about watching birds in our garden. I am astonished that there are so many different varieties visiting. There was a great spotted woodpecker this morning, and I was delighted to catch it on camera. I now know the difference between great, blue and coal tits, and can spot a nuthatch or chaffinch. I can’t yet tell the difference between a house sparrow and a dunnock at a distance, but I’m sure it will come.
As I mentioned previously, we didn’t have a great variety of birds in our garden when I was growing up. I remember the first time I saw a wood pigeon. I was 15, and was staying with friends in Birmingham. My children were asking me yesterday why we see standard pigeons in town and wood pigeons in our garden. As usual, I didn’t have a decent answer for them!
My body has forced me to slow down of late. I think I’ve been operating in 5th gear for many years now. Being a teacher didn’t allow for much relaxation. Neither did having little children. I’ve been stuck in that gear without knowing how to change down. Having low levels of iron has made me stop and rest. For some reason, I wasn’t able to work out how to take life more slowly until I couldn’t do it any more.
We get tend to stuck in a pattern of living. My daughter taught me a lesson when she refused to join Saturday morning orchestra. “It’s my only day when we have nothing on.” Fair enough, Ellie! However, my son would be happy if he filled Saturdays with playing football. We are not getting sucked into that one…
What do you see?
I know that we tend to see things more often once our attention has been drawn to them. If we get a new car, for example, we see cars like ours everywhere we go. Before then, we might never have noticed this particular model before. When we were moving house I spotted who I thought must be the owner of the one we were buying walking his dogs. Previously I had never taken note of him, and yet saw him every morning without fail after that.
So, what else haven’t I seen? Do I notice when those around me aren’t feeling great? I hope I do. Am I totally wrapped up in my own affairs, or am I aware of the difficulties that others are going through? I would like to think so.
Sometimes we are so busy with life we forget to stop and look at what is around it. I feel it has something to do with self-worth: if we are busy, we are important, at least to someone. If we slow down, what will we find out about ourselves? Are there things within us that we would rather not be seen? Do we want to stop ourselves seeing them? Would we recognise that we need to change?
Being forced to stop has opened my eyes in many ways. Whilst I wish my body would move more quickly again, I give thanks for what I now notice. Why not give it a try?
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