A path of gold.

Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed the path of gold beneath your feet?

Have you ever noticed how the breeze touches your face on an autumn afternoon?

Rippling through the grass, it comes to you. Blades of grass shiver and sway. The season’s last wildflowers bob as boats in the rolling sea of green.

Spinning through the trees, it nears you. Branches sway as though dancing to song – an ancient and beautiful chorus. The leaves flutter in delight, adding their sound to the music.

Rustling the leaves upon the ground, it approaches you. The golden carpet stirs and twirls, rising as if in celebration.

And then it greets you. With the refreshment of a cool drink of water, with the laughter of a child at play, and with the lightness of a kiss, the wind passes over your face.

The breeze continues on its way. Off to play in the sands by the shore. Off to see and explore the world. Off to touch the face of another.

sit for a while
on the grassy field
without a sound
watching the day go by

on the grassy field
floating upon
the sea of green

without a sound
but the air you breathe
and the wind through the grass

watching the day go by
without an attempt
to accomplish anything

***

Have you ever noticed the patterns and textures of the sky?

There are the big and fluffy clouds. They poof like cotton candy stuck together in a host of shapes and arrangements. You may see castles. You may see animals. You may see ships sailing blissfully on the upper currents of the atmosphere.

There are the wispy clouds – dozens of check marks in the sky. Must be a good day.

There are the narrow clouds that streak across the expanse of the sky. Where they come from and where they’re going, you cannot tell.

Sometimes they’re as white as the snow they send down upon the earth.

Sometimes they’re green and grey and black with the intensity of the storm.

Sometimes they’re filled with reds and yellows and oranges in the first moments of daybreak – as though a child ran markers back and forth over the horizon.

You tilt your head skyward. You watch the clouds shift and change as they float across the sky. And when all you can see is the heavens, you feel as though you’re floating too.

a never ending
painting of change and beauty
on a blue canvas

***

Have you ever noticed the grace of the falling snow?

Flurries at first, a handful of snowflakes make their decent. Tiny dots of white float lazily toward the earth. One or two specs find their way to the tip of your nose.

More snow now. Someone in the sky seems to be shaking out a big pillow. Fluffy snowflakes head earthbound in a rain of feathers.

Pillow fight! Now it’s a blizzard. The sky is thick with falling snow. The world goes blurry. Visibility fades. But if you pay attention, you can still make out the individual snowflakes – each a wonder on its own.

snowflakes fall softly
punctuating the stillness
of a winter day
a sweet melody composed
of ten thousand silent notes

***

Have you ever noticed how the squirrel moves?

She digs, searching for something lost, or maybe something not yet found. Paws push back the dirt, but only for a few seconds at a time. In between digs, she looks up – scanning for anything irregular. You don’t seem to be too unusual so she keeps on digging.

After a minute or two, she abandons her search. Or perhaps she just doesn’t want you to find her treasure. Off she hops.

Each bound forms a perfect arc. It’s as though she’s jumping on a trampoline. Boing. Boing. Boing. She scampers her way to the tree.

She climbs, not in a straight line, but spiraling around the tree trunk. If you listen, you can hear the scratching of her claws on the bark.

Reaching the first branch, she pauses. Her tail, bushy and full, flicks back and forth.

You both remain, watching each other. Her with suspicion and curiosity. You with delight. Passersby wonder who this crazy person is, standing still and grinning at a squirrel. But you don’t care.

the little brown squirrel
playfully prances over
the grass of the field
you cannot remain gloomy
while imitating its hop

***

Have you ever noticed the expression on a dog’s face when you play with him.

“Give me the stick.”

“No. It’s mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Come and take it for yourself. I dare you to try.” His tail darts back and forth at a hundred beats per minute.

Tug. Tug. “Nooooooo. It’s mine.”

Grip slips at last. You have the stick.

The dog stands still. Only the movement of his breathing indicates you’re not looking at a statue. His muscles tense like a coiled spring. He’s ready to move in a heartbeat. Throw that stick.

Throw it in the air. Far.

“Run. Run. Run.
Must. Catch. Stick.”

Pure delight.

His coiled frame waits there behind the tree
A hunter as his prey approaches still
Prepared to make his dash in for the kill
His eyes darting between the stick and me
Within them shines a watchful eager plea
Anticipation building up until
That time of energy and unleashed thrill
Betrayed excitement in his quiv’ring knee
After the ball he bursts with lightning pace
Powerful muscles ripple from his run
A midair capture showing off his grace
His wagging tail proclaims delight and fun
At the tree ready for another chase
This simple game has only just begun

***

Have you ever noticed the magnificence that is all around you?

You notice the endless arrangements of colors and patterns. You embrace the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches.

You notice, not just in a passing glance or thought, but with your full attention. For a moment, the rest of the world fades away. All that remains is you and the beauty before you. You are consumed by what you notice.

You notice, not just to admire and move on, but to pause and remember. You weave the beauty into the fabric of your identity. You embed the joy and delight into the foundations of your spirit.

As you notice, time stops rushing by. You are here. You are a part of today. You are alive.

does life seem so short
because we do not observe
the passing of time

***

Have you ever noticed? What have you noticed?

###

PHOTO: Have you ever noticed the path of gold beneath your feet? Chicago, IL.

3 thoughts on “Have You Ever Noticed?”

  1. Josh,

    You remind me that I should notice what I have done with ‘time ‘as a resource. Spare time to notice and notice that time is well noticed to spend productively for others as well as me.

  2. Josephine, Indeed, it’s important to be conscious about how we spend our time – treating it as the gift that it is. People notice when we do. 😉

    Judy, I try to be. Time slips by too quickly when I don’t.

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