Pen and colored pencil sketch-Bellingham Bay
Lately I read the Robert Frost poem "Unharvested". In it he used a phrase that struck a chord with me. It was written like this:
A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load...
We all struggle with keeping a balance in life between the tyranny of the urgent and the daily round of doing chores, going to work, and keeping life organized. And keeping a schedule keeps chaos at bay. But at the same time, we can get so stuck in that cycle that we forget to notice the unusual or any oddity that presents itself. We don't nourish our curiosity by pursuing the quest to find out things. If you are around small children any, you will be bombarded by lots of "Whys" about things. Somehow in the growing up process, we forget to ask why or how or what.
Keeping an inquisitive mind takes effort. Digital technology bombards us with the constant text message or Facebook notification. We can walk past people and never look up from our device to notice them. Noticing things is a part of being fully alive and engaged with the world. It keeps us focused on where our feet are...on what is happening in our environment. Giving yourself permission to leave the routine road on occasion opens up new possibilities and opportunities. Life becomes more of a fascinating adventure. I love the poem by Sara Teasdale about the things in life to see and hear and feel and smell, that can't be bought with money:
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Live has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
I like what King Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs that encourages us to be on a life-long quest for gaining wisdom and understanding in life. He urges one to "cry out for insight, to ask for understanding, to search for them like silver, to seek them like hidden treasures." Those are vivid action verbs expressing a yearning and deep, down desire to learn and gain wisdom. This life is so full of amazing, fascinating things. Above all the possible subjects to study, the first and best place to start is with the foundation, which King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said was with the Creator God of the universe. This is where true knowledge begins. It's where God unlocks His heart to us and makes us wise and alive to all the rest of this fabulous creation we live in. So leave the routine road, get curious again, and enjoy the adventure of being a life-long learner!
Leaving the routine road in the Pacific Cascades
Live bravely and beautifully!