Some neat things have been happening around me this month. Some have included me, and some I have been fortunate to observe.
An old friend recently emailed me this experience: he had been playing his piano at home when the natural movement of the sun caused a flash of colour on his keyboard. Upon exploration, he discovered it was the reflection of his Christmas poinsettia on one of the black keys. He shared a beautiful photograph of it – having seen this intensely stunning yet tiny morsel of unexpected brilliance, he was able to trap it and share it.
Spending time around children – my own and others – has helped me be aware of this kind of daily wonder in little things. As adults we tend to see the big picture (a bunch of gravel under the swingset) where children are better at seeing the little bits of beauty (each individual rock’s unique characteristics). My second son is an expert at this sort of fascinated observation, while my first son’s love of birds has helped me to see things that have always been there but I’ve never looked. As adults we admire these perspectives – talk about them, praise them – but rarely do we try to see the world that way for more than a minute or two at a time.
In the same way, children are constantly singing. They are constantly banging on things, shaking them, trying to find the music in the world around them. They make up little songs about what they’re doing as they do them. They change the words to well-known songs, to suit a situation or just for novelty’s sake. Even kids who claim to not like music, or who think they aren’t creative, are doing these things all the time. (I happen to know one of these rather well, and he’ll probably read this blog post. Yes, you) Celebrate it! Then join in.
That’s the key. It’s so easy to watch and applaud. The challenge is in becoming part of the song. The thing is, it’s naturally in us all to do it. It is UNnattural to refrain. (I’m serious!)
I mentioned “some neat things”. One was that email from my old friend. When you start listing “neat things” around you, suddenly it’s easy to feel blessed, and to see more and more “neat things” all the time. I have a friend who keeps a gratitude journal. Great idea. What a wonderful New Year thing to do! Count your blessings, count them one by one, as the old hymn goes.
Before I go, I want to encourage you to jump into the song, and a great way to do that is through workshops that I have the privilege of facilitating. The beginner guitar retreat in February is another opportunity. I’m looking forward to the magic that will happen as we Beat the Blues in January. Connecting through music leads to wonderful things!
A rambly stream-of-consciousness blog post today. Hopefully somewhere in there you can find encouragement!
Happy Christmas, everybody.