“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” -W.B. Yeats
Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, wrote those prescient words over 100 years ago. If that sentiment rang true during Victorian times, we surely find even more meaning in the words today.
Since many of us don’t journey out as much as we did pre-covid, we have been given the opportunity these past couple of months to instead journey inward.
I have certainly been using the time to reflect, take inventory, connect with family in new and meaningful ways, and just try to sharpen my senses to use Yeats’ verbiage.
On my more frequent walks I try to see more and notice more, whether it be various plants lining the path, animals scurrying around me, or even the changing cloud formations high overhead.
I find my trips to the water even more restorative, as I pay closer attention to the wind and the waves and the smells and sounds, as well as the familiar and typical sights.
The power of gratitude
Recently I have developed a dialogue with a keynote speaker who averaged about 100 speeches a year during the previous decade or so.
He says that while the circumstances of COVID-19 are certainly terrible and tragic, the isolation with his family and respite from the road has been a gift.
The way he explained it to me is that he has been “transformed with the power of gratitude,” that he is happy, healthy, safe and able to continue working (virtually).
Is there anything you have noticed you have become newly grateful for? Have you navigated down any new pathways of understanding?
One of the books I have been reading lately is The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh, a best-selling Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master who was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He writes, “When we are fully established in the present moment, we know that we are alive, and that it’s a miracle to be alive. The past has gone and the future has not yet come. This is the only moment where we can be alive, and we have it!”
“When we are fully established in the present moment, we know we are alive, and it’s a miracle to be alive. The past has gone and the future has not yet come. This s the only moment where we can be alive, and we have it!”
I hope you have some special moments ahead of you in the coming weeks; sunsets that take on a new meaning, the simple pleasure of making tracks in the sand, and any other place or time where you are fully present with friends and family and grateful to be alive.
I think this will be a Thanksgiving to remember for me in lots of ways, and maybe one to forget in one way or another as well.
I am certainly grateful for my family, for my friends, for my job, and for you, my community. And I wish you well on your own journey to sharpen your senses, as well as to stay safe, happy and healthy!