I had the good fortune of getting invited to speak at a big conference in Hawaii, and the even better fortune of being able to bring along my family.
The event was in Honolulu, and we were booked in a hotel on Waikiki Beach. Three minutes after checking in, we walked out onto our balcony and were treated to THIS view. (This is not a postcard, and I did not airbrush the rainbow in!)
Trust me, in a speaking career that has spanned fifteen years, and after many, many views of ugly, rusty air conditioning units, this is NOT the norm.
We had spent a week in Oahu at this point, and this was already our third rainbow sighting. The next day, on our walk to dinner downtown, we saw another one. As we stopped to savor the free gift, I noticed we were in the minority.
None of the obvious locals seemed to care.
I haughtily climbed upon my majestic high horse, scoffing at the cynical people who were missing out on something pretty special. How jaded! How ungrateful! How blind!
But then I wondered what I miss in my own life because I take it for granted.
I remembered a visit to the Field of Dreams movie set in Dyersville, Iowa, a few years ago. If you haven’t seen the film, it features a baseball diamond carved into the middle of a cornfield. It’s pretty cool. The first time I was there, I saw tourists getting pictures of themselves amidst the corn. Mind you, there was no hint of the baseball field in the photo; just people standing between rows of corn. They could have easily been in a field twenty miles away and the picture would have been exactly the same.
As someone who grew up in Illinois – the Land of Lincoln, corn, and government corruption – it was laughable for me to think that anyone would get that excited about corn. It’s everywhere!
Which, after an honest reflection and sheepish descent from my high horse, is probably not all that different from a Hawaiian local’s perspective on rainbows. After all, in Hawaii, they’re everywhere! (Including their license plates.)
Yes, rainbows are pretty amazing. And so are cornfields and the ears of corn they produce. As are coconut trees. And those red rocks in Utah. And the way the trees change colors in the fall, or how the desert looks at sunset, not to mention the little dimples on the elbows of babies.
The truth is, we are surrounded by so many wonders that we are spoiled by them. We are witnesses to miracles, all of us, every single day. Wondrous acts of creativity so marvelous that if we actually looked at them with new eyes, we’d be left awestruck.
Are you noticing them?
Maybe we should all be a little bit more like tourists.