The other day, as Cooper hopped in the car after school, he said to me, “ya know, the world is so beautiful!” I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. Such a simple statement, full of so much truth.

As we grow up we lose sight of the sheer beauty of the world. Our weary hearts tune in to the difficult and chaotic, leaving behind the simple. But children marvel at simple things. And if we watch them carefully, they just might reawaken our own childlike wonder. That is the secret to happiness, isn’t it? To see simplicity as beautiful and never fail to offer up praise for that beauty.

I came across this piece I had written last spring. It seems just as relevant today as I watch Cooper exploring the snow-covered yard with such wonder.

May we let ourselves be overcome with joy at the simple, ordinary events of our everyday lives.

Strikingly Ordinary

The wind was sharp and steadfast against the garage I found shelter in. The clouds were moving quickly through the sky showing hints of rain. But this brought all the more joy to the little boy bracing himself against the elements. He was, at that moment, infinite. He raced around, a bit overwhelmed by the endless adventures one could have in the great outdoors. One moment attempting to climb a tree and the next chasing after a butterfly. His eyes glared at me in wonder as he stuttered passionately, searching for the words to explain such emotion.

I sat smiling like a fool as he gave up on his words and returned to play. I grabbed my camera to snap a picture but was overcome with disappointment at what I saw. The picture didn’t do this moment justice. And it hit me, this is the most ordinary thing in the world: a boy flinging mud with a stick.

Just like that, the rain began to fall steadily upon the driveway. I made my way back to the house but Cooper lingered. He looked up at the sky and let those raindrops cover him in all their glory. He flashed me a big smile and began laughing and dancing, trying to catch each raindrop on his tongue. I was struck again by how ordinary this moment was but how beautiful it felt.

I sat staring at that picture for a long while, still unimpressed. The camera couldn’t quite capture the joy of the ordinary. But maybe that’s another secret to happiness? Put down the phones and soak up these wonderful, fleeting moments. Let them be felt deeply. Let them be enough.

Through the eyes of this precious soul, my own heart has been reawakened. We have all we need. The sun rises. The flowers bloom in an unstoppable fury. The trees grow green, bustling with life. We are not promised tomorrow, and I am so thankful these children remind me to enjoy the ordinary of today.

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