We have a wooded marsh with walking trails near our house. I love navigating through the oaks and maples on my morning walks. This time of year, the crunchy leaves carpet the forest floor, and the barren trees look like strong but spindly old fighters, girding up to take on one more winter. The best is when I spot a deer, and we have a little stare down before she gets spooked and runs off. I really, really love those moments.
Interestingly, my expectations play a big role in how often those moments arise. The times when I’m traipsing through the woods absent-mindedly, assuming it’s too late or too early for deer to be out and about, are inevitably the times when I come upon one unknowingly, startle it, and only end up catching a glimpse of its white tail as it bounds away.
The magical moments only happen when I walk with the expectation of a child; when I am quiet, alert, and filled with anticipation that I will see something amazing.
Of course, having that expectation is no guarantee that I’ll see a deer. But I’m guaranteed to miss it when I don’t.
It’s a lot like life. When you plow through each day, assuming that nothing good will happen, more times than not, you’ll be right. Amazing opportunities bound away as you walk right by them.
But if you navigate through each day mindfully, with eyes wide open, fully expecting to see amazing things…they will magically appear:
- A stunning sunset on the ride home from work.
- A random bumper sticker sends the sign you’ve been looking for.
- The small unexpected gesture of love from your spouse.
- A sliver of time to spend a few quality moments with your kid.
You’ve got to keep your eyes open for wonder. More often than not, it only shows up if you’re looking.
Or, in the immortal words of the great philosopher named Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”