Practicing still the art of intention. It is an art. A habit.
I find it harder and harder in the noise of this packed world to pay attention to the simple. But the simple may be profound.
As the artist studies its subject before lifting the brush, let me study the movements of these little ones, as they still are small enough to glory in space and run and twirl, the expressions of my husband's face when he shares his heart, the comforts and blessings in the surroundings God has bestowed upon me.
And I have experienced, at different seasons in my life, periods of awareness. Weeks, where I feel alive and everything else seems alive, purposeful, noteworthy. It's intoxicating, to be aware of these moments. To take the time to pause and mark the wonder in your child, to allow their laughter to infect, to twirl with them because they are noting the breeze. Sometimes it is the small things that cause us to catch our breath and remember how quickly the years go by.
And yet, how easy to forget this.
Think, maybe of how that first child never could cease to amaze you. But by the last, perhaps, weary, we forget to indulge ourselves in that same awe.
Brennan Manning, in 'The Ragamuffin Gospel' says, "By and large, our world has lost its sense of wonder. We have grown up...."
But is it that we've grown up? Or is what Abraham Joshua Heschel says more accurate? "As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines."
The time suck of social networking, television, iPhones, whatever it might be - could this be what deters us from reveling in real moments, engaging in physical conversations?
I love Manning's statement that, "We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive, that we become immune to the glory of creation."
Do we listen or do we wait to talk? Do we worry about how we are perceived? Are we taking God's plans and demanding that they become our own? All the while, missing out on the thousands of tiny revelations of God's immense love and beauty? Working on a paint by number rather than a masterpiece?
As I write here, now, I look out my bedroom window and I see my daughter in a bathing suit, hair falling all to one side. She sits on the trampoline, practicing some coy look for years later and mentally, I pick up my paintbrush....