Happy Holidays, my friends!
I chose this photo to share as my little holiday gift to you because, for me, it has always been a reminder that life is filled with small miracles. I can look at it and remember how sharply cold it was that night. I was bundled in layers of high-tech gear and still shivering – my lips and fingers were stiff and the camera had to be held under my jacket next to my body between shots or the batteries would fail. My toes hurt, in spite of several layers of thermal socks and warm boots. It seemed a very long time ago that the boats in the background, those icons of summer fun, were pulling kids in tubes alongside this very dock.
There was the great blue heron, probably the same one I had photographed in this spot last summer, wading in the frigid water on his spindly bird legs with no protection at all from the cold. There was no shivering and no sign that he wasn’t perfectly comfortable. He took a slow, careful step, barely rippling the surface, then stood perfectly still, waiting for a sign of dinner, and then took another. It was an incomprehensible miracle to me – I would die of hypothermia if I tried that.
My favorite quote from Albert Einstein is this:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Every day, every minute, there are millions of small miracles happening in each of our lives. A key to happiness is to notice them. A secret to joy is to appreciate them. Whatever else is happening in our lives that we may feel is “good” or “not so good” or “downright awful,” there are also tiny miracles present to be noticed and appreciated.
If we make lists of them, your list and mine will differ and each will be different from moment to moment.
Right now I am aware of…
…this breath, this heartbeat, the countless miracles that keep this body functioning without me even knowing they are taking place
…the brilliant red cardinal I can see out my window against a steel-gray sky which a few hours ago was a breathtaking azure
…the spinning of the earth and the changing of seasons and the unfathomable orchestration of it all
…that my fingers can strike keys and words are created that your eyes will see, your brain will interpret and, perhaps, your heart will feel
…that Louie, my sweet, warm, fat cat has come to sit in my lap as I type and how effortlessly our love for each other is communicated
…that the list of such miracles is ever-changing and never-ending
Try it yourself – pause, notice and appreciate. I can promise that you will be glad you did.
May your holidays and the coming year be filled with what matters…
Happiness that comes not from having, but simply from being in a world of miracles.