“The world is so full of a number of things,

I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

This two-line poem from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson was the first poem I memorized. That was decades ago and it still rolls around in my brain. I woke up quoting it, though I have absolutely no understanding of why it was on my mind today.

Maybe the royal wedding.

Maybe nothing more than the randomness of my brain.

Yes, that’s probably it.

It got me thinking about how often I completely miss the wonders that take place around me every day.

When I get in work mode, or drive mode, or thinking mode, I can hunker down and go deep inside myself. And then I miss things.

One of my intentions – something I work on daily – is to actually be in my life and not just a bystander.

I want to remain present for all of it.

And I believe that it begins by simply noticing.

Seeing the gifts, large and small, that surround me.

A couple of weeks ago on two consecutive days, as I was headed out to feed the horses, I was tuned in to my surroundings.

I wasn’t thinking about what I had yet to do.

I wasn’t compiling my grocery list in my head.

I wasn’t worrying, or checked out.

I was completely and totally present.

I pulled up alongside a perky little red roadster as we waited for the light to turn green. When I turned to admire the car, this sweet dog poked her/his head out the window and looked right into my eyes.

We held that gaze for several seconds.

On impulse I reached for my camera and snapped this photo through the window.

Then the light changed and we went our separate ways.

This one tiny, some might even say insignificant, event lifted my spirits for the rest of the day. I still smile when I look at the photograph.

The next day I was also in the car on my way to the horses when I stopped at another light.

Right in front of me was a truck loaded with sheets of something that made the most beautiful design on the ends.

As a mosaic artist I am always on the lookout for interesting patterns. This truck didn’t disappoint. I stared at the design for a few seconds and then, again on impulse, I took the photo right through my front windshield.

I loved how something so utilitarian held something so beautiful.

And the beauty was completely unintended. It happened because the sheets were stacked in a certain way.

I smiled all the way to the pasture.

There are similar things going on in every corner of the world all the time. Hundreds, thousands, probably millions of little visual vitamins are there for each of us if we just take the time to notice.

Do you have noticing stories?

I’d love to hear them.

P.S.  Another reminder to keep your camera handy!