When I was young, I spent my free time catching caterpillars and ladybugs. I also enjoyed digging holes in the dirt. I entertained myself by following ants with my magnifying glass for hours at a time. I chased butterflies. I was happy just watching the world.
As adults, we forget how to notice. We are surrounded by our to-do lists, schedules, and deadlines. We are constantly plugged in and always have things to do. We never have time.
Today, I saw a guy talking on his phone while pacing back and forth along the bike path. Two bikes almost hit him, and he didn’t even notice. I saw two people having a conversation, but one was half listening while scrolling through her phone. While watching a free event at a performing arts festival, I saw dozens of people walk by without even giving it a glance. A hundred people pushed their way off the subway because they had somewhere to be. Cars cut cars off, and people cut people off.
We are trapped by our own busyness. We spend the day seeing things without actually seeing anything.
Take a walk on a familiar route. Don’t wear headphones. Don’t worry about taking photos. Don’t talk on your phone. You’ll finally see the things that you’ve seen a hundred times. It’s beautiful.