Little people blow me away. They don’t know what an “AHA” moment is because “magic” seems to accompany them often and they have the presence of mind to celebrate these wonders: After a hard, spring rain a sidewalk strewn with earthworms; fluttering “helicopters” from the maple trees; an overflowing Easter basket; her first gold finch sighting; his first landed fish.
It’s easy to dismiss the delight of little people as a response to novelty. And it would be incorrect to do so. It doesn’t occur to them to mute their enthusiasm. As when we took the cover off and filled the swimming pool in our backyard, the grandkids were jumping up and down ready to swim as they have done many times before.
There are events and actions that stimulate the blown away feeling but also required is the receptiveness to being blown away. Adyashanti pointed out in a recent interview that once we label something the magic is removed. In order to comprehend something or some action we assign a word. The saplings that we planted in the front yard have doubled in height and have countless more branches in spite of the first winter ice storm but too often we package them as the Burr Oaks. How did this growth happen? Why did the top branches go two summers without any leaves but now fill out each spring? Are the roots really as deep as the trunk is tall? In spite of constant exposure to the south wind, each of them is wonderfully straight, but the crab apple trees just a few feet away have spread with gnarled limbs inclined out much more than up. How can this be?
The more focus that’s given to the label, Burr Oaks, the further I’m removed from blown away. The term is convenient. It’s useful to distinguish those miracles of nature from the neighboring miracles inclined out more than up. But when I think of the questions I’m blown away. Oh, I know that a horticulturist has knowledge that responds to each question and many, many more. I hope, in spite of this working knowledge of trees, he is still blown away; still receptive to the miracle of life; still enthusiastic about the pattern of growth, the beauty of blossoms and the monument of sturdiness.
To be blown away requires novelty, or variety, or vividness and, more importantly, the willingness to be enthusiastic, delighted, amazed. To be blown away requires the intention to slow down, to make space for the celebration of what I appreciate. My life is out of kilter by the blown away opportunities that go unfulfilled because my lack of will, lack of intention, and my short cut words obscure the magic in me!