Caught up in the swirl of our daily lives, we often don’t have a moment to notice where we are. If we did look up, we would likely discover a small miracle, like an eagle taking flight or a child transfixed by a snowflake. This moment is a second chance to look up, notice where you are, and discover something of wonder. What do you notice?
In her latest Share Your Stories post, Holly Elissa Bruno invites you to take a moment to pause and reflect on your surroundings. Join in conversation with Holly Elissa as you notice where you are.
Notice Where You Are
“Notice where you are,” she softly suggested. “Just for the moment, stop what you are doing, put aside what you are thinking, and notice where you are.”
I didn’t see how. My mind bustled off into the future and darted back to the past faster than a dog gallops after a ball.
Notice where you are meant making sure my toddler son, Nick, didn’t bite his friend, Cy, in frustration again. Notice where you are meant being alert for a break in traffic so we could cross the street without being hit by a Boston driver. Given the demands of my work, my young family, and my community, I kept my head down and forged ahead.
That couldn’t be what Madeline meant. She was a wise mentor whom I had come to trust.
Madeline didn’t give up on me. She continued, suggesting, “When you step outside, look around until something calls your attention. When something calls your attention, pay attention.” Because I respected Madeline, I agreed in my “What they hey?” way.
As I waved goodbye and stepped outside, a wind tunnel blast of frigid January air blustered about me. The pine trees swaying on the right side of Madeline’s building warned me of another blast. I glanced up at the trees with gratitude. And there they were.
Lighted candles on the pine trees! Candles at the end of every arched branch. Candles pointing to the sky. Not flickering, undaunted. Candles like those on an old-fashioned Christmas tree. Candles lit for me.
Of course, in the next moment, my mind caught up to inform me that the “candles” were snow covered pinecones glistening in the midday sunlight. Just regular pine cones in the everyday light on a stand of old evergreens.
But, like a child catching her first snowflake, I had stood in a moment of wonder.
Notice where you are:
- Brushing the silky elegance of my little girl’s hair as she sighs in contentment.
- The eagle floating on the Alaskan air above Juneau Bay.
- Hearing my son, Nick, through his autism say, “How are you, Mom?”
- Witnessing a classroom of world-weary educators joyously playfully sing “Stop! In the Name of Love” with me.
- My mother squeezing my hand before she died.
When I stop my busy ways to give a passing moment a second chance, I stand on what feels to me like holy ground. Each moment rewards in riches, yet costs nothing.
This momentary second chance is mine for the asking. The prompt is simple and light: notice where you are. Pay attention to what calls your attention. Let wonder fill your soul.
Share your stories and tell me: What if you were to give yourself a moment today to notice where you are?
BY LEAVING A COMMENT, I hereby give my permission to Redleaf Press to use my story and quote me (all names will be changed) in Holly Elissa Bruno’s upcoming book on second chances, including in all revised editions of the book, in all formats (including print and electronic) now known or developed in the future, in all languages and territories, and in any other subsidiary editions of the book, and in promotional materials published by Redleaf Press, as it sees fit.
If you’re new to Holly Elissa Bruno’s Share Your Stories series, you can learn more about the project here and read previous posts here. We invite you to share as often and openly as you want—on this post, previous posts, and future posts. Your comments will provide Holly Elissa with unique insight as she writes her next book, and she looks forward to continuing the conversation after the book is published.