“In string theory, all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics is the harmonies on the string; chemistry is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe is a symphony of strings, and the ‘Mind of God’ is cosmic music resonating in 11-dimensional hyperspace.”
How often do we take the time to really look at things, even something as simple as a holiday card? If we were to slow down, we might see and appreciate some pretty remarkable details. Such as the fact that the placement of each and every one of the gold-colored “snowflakes” on this card’s image was arranged by someone’s hand. Or the fact that the design of the center snowman’s scarf is a combination of red- and blue-checkered patterns with small gold diamonds placed carefully among them. Or we may notice that among the background of blue-lit snow, almost invisible upon first viewing, you can see the silhouettes of fir trees painted softly in the shadows. Every detail of this picture was carefully chosen, painted, drawn, and glued, and the feeling it elicits is one of happiness, peace, and warmth. How easy would it be to receive this card, to look at it once, and then to merely discard it, without ever taking the time to ruminate on its composition, let alone the journey it has taken?
This picture has followed such an amazing path – from an inspiration in someone’s mind, to a creative thought carefully formulated into an image, to an expression finally manifested in colors and shapes carefully laid out on the page. Even after its creation, it continued its adventure through multiple organizations of various sizes and forms – perhaps a card company, a print shop, a distributor, a warehouse, a supermarket – moving every step along the way through the hands of, and in the care of, another person or set of people. And then, at long last, it was chosen by a person, just for you, and it was sent on its final race through the postal service, tousled among all of the bills and envelopes and catalogues and coupons, to finally land in your hands, right now, in this moment. These three happy little snowmen have had quite a journey!
Let us resolve, then, to slow down and to take the time to soak in the beauties and subtleties hiding in plain view all around us. Let us make a deliberate choice to appreciate the meaning and wonder bursting forth in the details of even the smallest, seemingly insignificant objects and experiences that come our way. Let us make a point to inhale deeply of the life-energy in everything around us – nature, art, music, food – and, most importantly of all, let us strive to appreciate the beauty and life-force pulsing from within ourselves and from within everyone around us.
“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver
Happy New Year, everyone! May you have health, happiness, peace, and prosperity – and, above all, love – in this, your one wild and precious life.