We hadn’t reached the front gate when he spied a trail of ants. We knelt down to take a closer look and studied them intently as they navigated their busy workaday world.
There was no straight path to our destination. There were gutters to investigate, low fences to walk along, pine cones and pretty leaves to collect and sticks to carry. There were shadows to chase and questions to answer … a fireman to wave to and trucks to count.
A blind man passed by with his white cane and we sat on a fence and talked about what it would be like to not be able to see.
We sniffed flowers, watched an industrious bumble bee and even discovered a fat green caterpillar enjoying his breakfast. I marvelled at the wide-eyed wonder of childhood and felt the deep joy and privilege of being apart of it even for that moment.
I remember being called to the school by my son’s teacher who was displeased because he was always looking out the window at the building being constructed next door, rather than paying attention to her. I asked if he knew what she had taught and she agreed he did, so I was left wondering why there was a problem. She didn't know he would go on to become an industrial arts teacher and maybe those days at the window were part of the journey that lead him to that destination.
It’s so easy to travel through life focused on the destination and to miss the richness of the journey.
In 2009 I visited missionaries in Africa. Everything was new and exciting. I drank it in like a thirsty child … the sights and sounds, the people, the colours, the textures and the smells. My senses were on high alert! Every moment was filled with new discoveries. One of the missionaries who had worked there for over 20 years was fascinated as she saw me engaging with ‘first eyes’ … seeing it all for the first time as she had all those years ago. For her it had become commonplace and familiar and had lost its wonder. She told me she got to see it again with fresh eyes, through mine.
I want 2018 to be more about the journey and less about the destination. I want to live it with more childlike wonder ... with more detours ... to be more available and more aware. I want to wave to the fireman, notice the blind man and look out the window. I want to be constantly surprised by life.
Will you join me?