See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by clouds
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood, all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
~excerpt from “Beautiful Day” by U2
Some mornings in the summer, I head over to my daughter’s local middle school to walk on the track. It is in an area that would be considered “rural” by suburban standards–cow fields on both sides, barns within view, no Starbucks.
I like to go there because of the peaceful setting. From all sides of the track, you can see the deep blue mountains rising in the misty morning fog. Around the track, blue birds and gold finches swoop and dive around me as they play hide-and-seek in the thicket.
I love how the golden sun streams down from the sky in shafts of light through idyllic, puffy clouds. Silver dew drips from the bright yellow black-eyed susans at the corner of the fence.
Sometimes, in the field next to the school grounds, a tractor rolls across the rich, brown dirt, preparing it for the
next planting. Across the street, cows amble up the hill to find greener patches of grass. When it has rained the night before, steam slowly floats upward from the ground making distant fields look enchanted.
Sometimes, I can stand there in that moment of quiet and have a rebirth, observing all those things for the first time again.
Typically, we get so used to our surroundings we forget how simple things can touch our lives. We forget how spectacular a sunrise can be or how the smell of grass can take us back to our childhood.
Since my daughter was five, we’ve carried out a tradition before school starts. We play “tourist.” We take an entire
day and travel around Asheville (our home town) as if this place was our annual vacation retreat. She used to get tickled at me when I talk about restaurants or shops like I’ve read about them in a travel magazine (the last few years, she’s just rolled her eyes). Besides being a nice tradition for us, I value that this day gives me the opportunity to appreciate my hometown. It is very rejuvenating to find the beauty in simple things, especially those that are so familiar to us and surround us daily.
Today and every day, I encourage you to take advantage of the beauty around you and wish for you a rebirth in your level of appreciation for the simple things in your life.