we forget to pay close attention, and because we're not
doing so, we forget what we're missing. Paying close
attention to anything in our lives helps to remind us of the
beauty and wonder of this world, two elements of our lives
that thoroughly enrich our experience here. But only
if we allow it to, and we can allow it to only by paying
attention to it.
it's a question of semantics: we say that we're
"paying" attention, and the word "pay"
to us indicates some sort of cost, some sort of
sacrifice. Miller's words are "gives close
attention," an idea that implies that there's no
payment involved, just free will.
either case, it's important that we stop sometimes and
examine things on a different level than that on which
we normally see them. If we don't do so, everything
remains "normal," and that would be sad, indeed.
you ever counted the number of petals in a rose? Have
you ever watched an ant drag something much larger than
itself towards home? Have you ever watched a bee
gather pollen on its hind legs? When was the last time
that you looked very closely at a piece of fruit that you
were eating, noticing the incredible complexity of it?
When was the last time that you actually spent time staring
into a pond, noticing all the life that was there for you to
sitting still on a lawn can open up to you a whole new
world, if you look long enough and closely enough.
There is a great deal of life available to you in such a
place, but we usually miss it as we walk quickly over
it. Once I taught in a building that had a tree
growing right next to it, so from our third-floor window we
had a great view of the top of the tree and all the bugs and
birds that lived there or were stopping by for visits.
That close view taught me a lot about the tops of trees, and
I can't look at trees in exactly the same way any more.
today and look. Learn. Appreciate.
See. Touch. Feel. Looking closely is
nothing more than using our powers of observation, a gift
that we were given that we let lie unused far too
often. Miller's right--if we do this, the world
becomes an awesome, incredible place.