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Finding Small (and Big) Miracles
After I recover from the shock that it’s actually 2015, I have to smile about what’s ahead. In late December, my mind always turns towards the New Year, and I do my best to face it with cheerful anticipation and find a bright light in the gray dawn of winter. Except for the beginning of tax season, a steady diet of negativity looping on 24-hour news channels, and the loss each of us has to face in life, this time of year offers a lot of simple and rich possibilities.
I don’t wear rose-colored glasses, but I do remind myself to recognize and express gratitude for all of the blessings and miracles that surround me everyday. What better time to practice looking for those miracles than at the beginning of a new future?
Although the trees are stripped of their leaves, the air is biting and the sky is an early morning gray, I can find a special beauty in the winter scene when my wife and I take our morning walk. Some might just see a cold, wintry landscape, but we see the squirrel hanging upside down on the feeder, the white-capped river curving around Belle Isle below us, and the interesting local dogs walking their humans. My wife takes a moment to take a swing in a great swing that hangs from a neighbor’s tree. The ropes are long, so the arc is slow and easy, and she smiles, contented as a child finding joy in the simplest things.
On his way to the local elementary school, a father passes by on a bicycle, his son strapped and bundled in the child’s seat, ready for kindergarten. They are cold but laughing. It’s the same school that my grandson, Logan, attends, and he’s just climbing out of his mother’s car. Hat and gloves on, he almost skips over a mud puddle, but has to put just one foot in to see what it’s like. He turns six on January 8th. I have another miracle on his or her way this spring. My daughter is expecting her first child, and I'll be a grandfather again.
Big miracles are wonderful, but the small, seemingly insignificant, things can make winter and life rich, too—a good movie and popcorn when it’s freezing outside; a pair of great warm slippers (that belonged to Andy, who we lost a few years ago); an old friend who sends you a rare, handwritten card; the porch light left on on a dark night; or cooking great crab cakes while you listen to your favorite music.
If you watch for them, you can discover lots of small miracles (and big ones, too) around you every day, just by being present, with eyes, ears, and heart open. Keep yours open, and have a great new future in 2015. pl
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