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Sharpening Awareness

“In the marshes the buckbean has lifted its feathery mist of flower spikes above the bed of trefoil leaves. The fimbriated flowers are a miracle of workmanship and every blossom exhibits an exquisite disorder of ragged petals finer than lace. But one needs a lens to judge of their beauty: it lies hidden from the power of our eyes, and menyanthes must have bloomed and passed a million times before there came any to perceive and salute her loveliness. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” ― Eden Phillpotts, A Shadow Passes

Taking the train back from a business trip, I alternatively read voraciously and feasted on the scenery. Late afternoon light on water, the march of thousands of trees, the meandering salt grass and sea oat, the small towns and big cities announced on the approach and forgotten on the rush to next. The endless parade of hungry cafe car customers marching to and fro in wide-stance uncertainty as the train barreled along in its rock and roll rhythm. So very much to see in so brief a time. How can we not feel the urgency of awareness?

The trick to sharpening our awareness is to exercise the muscle. Habitualize the senses. Put the phone back in your pocket and look for the most delightful thing in your field of view. Why are you drawn in? This is a deliberate act. This is active engagement with the universe. And it’s the beginning of creativity and magic, should we let ourselves dance with it. And shouldn’t we?

We are aware of that which surrounds us or we simply pass through, but the magic all around us owes us nothing. It’s up to us to see it and be a part of it. To be actively engaged in living a bold life is a choice. Boldness and awareness go hand-in-hand. We must see what is out there in the world and consciously step to it. What are we waiting for anyway?

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it, as the saying goes. We must begin, without delay, to sharpen awareness, for this life is moving right along. To lift ourselves out of the fog and see what we can of this universe in our time.

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