Noticing

At least once a day I observe the latent perfection of the universe. The seemingly impossible stripe of colour across a flower, the quirky, telltale loop of a ready to pick garlic scape, the scent of a particular plant, beautiful, each aspect of their design deliberate and purposeful. It seems there is a reason for most things in this vast living system and our choice whether we notice it.

Sometimes the purpose is as simple as attracting pollinators, other times it’s more complex. Difficult weeds in our landscape, some with deep roots, indicate that our soil is out of balance. The roots extend far into the ground and the plants vigorously beyond the surface in an attempt to draw nutrients to where they are lacking, breaking up thick, compacted soil. Our human relationships often work in similar ways, we surround and support each other with love and kindness, filling in spaces where we can. Our conflicts are equally valuable, causing us to give attention to areas we have maybe been avoiding. The realizations we come to serving us in equally important ways: this path is not meant for me, I must work on this, it is time to grow in a new direction, or, there is so much goodness here! Whatever the outcome of our relationships, we are always better for having the connection, however brief or lengthy.

The same rules apply to human-nature connections, remarkable teachings if only we are open to them.
A few examples from my own life, this past week:

I have been seeing deer EVERYWHERE this year. But, I live in the west end of Calgary, near lots of naturalized green space, so it isn’t uncommon to see a good number of deer. That said, recently I had questioned the number of deer I have been seeing because even taking into account where I live, I have been seeing a lot of them. On my way home last Tuesday night, I had the same thought, even prompting a conversation about it with my husband. The next morning, on my way to swimming lessons with my youngest child, I backed out of my driveway and pulled ahead, right in front of us a stag with a rather large set of antlers trotted across the street. Certainly not out of the frame of possibility, but also not a common experience, especially in the context of me questioning this specifically the night before!

The other example was equally funny and also precipitated by a conversation with my husband. We have a good deal of tree and shrub clearing that we have begun doing in our yard. We are accumulating a massive pile of branches and we are also in need of a good amount of mulch for our garden beds (even during a wet season like this one, we need to do everything we can to maximize our water usage here in Alberta). I did some research and decided we should purchase a small wood chipper. My husband was less inclined to agree. In living more in accordance with our values to reduce our consumption, he is quite good at reminding me that buying new things need not be our first course of action (yes, even if the purchase allows us to use the material from our yard to protect and maintain our soil health). The day after I was not quite convinced not to buy a chipper, I was working. Writing away, but getting distracted. A loud grinding, chopping sound kept interrupting my thoughts. I was getting a bit annoyed because I kept losing my train of thought, I kept focusing and refocusing. Finally, it occurred to me that the sound I was interrupted by was a wood chipper. I got up and looked out my window and sure enough, it was! Without a second thought, I ran outside and asked the arborist at work if I could keep the chips, and they were happy to let me. Now this hasn’t solved my problem entirely, but I am halfway there. I must admit, each time something like this happens, and it is common in my life, I feel really grateful. I feel like I have noticed the universe perform yet another miracle. I feel connected.

Now perhaps you are the type of person who believes these types of things are coincidences. Believe what you wish. I believe there are infinite tiny, beautiful things happening all of the time to support us. I believe that everything living is part of one giant working system. I believe that there is magic to be had ever single day, if only we notice it.    

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