“When you are a stranger in a place, you notice things that you rapidly stop noticing when you become familiar.” – Steve Jobs
Spring! It’s a time of renewal and new growth. It’s also a time of sneezing and itchy eyes. I’m feeling it! But I did it to myself. During this past weekend, we spent a lot of time outside, enjoying the warm sun, budding flowers and visiting birds and squirrels. This morning, I’m paying for it. I’m rubbing my eyes trying to bring my calendar into focus while plowing through my inbox. Can you relate? I may complain about the pollen, but I’m grateful for the changing of the seasons.
Have you noticed how we take for granted the things around us? We become so familiar with our surroundings and the things as they are, that we suddenly no longer really see them. They fade into the caverns of our subconscious. We navigate those places and contexts without even knowing. Have you ever commuted to work or a local café and wondered, “How did I get here?” Auto pilot took you there. Our minds form low-energy pathways to handle the routine, the mundane and the familiar. It’s important to help us navigate the complex world we live in, but it also means we can fail to see the wonder that is ever before our eyes. Those tiny golden moments of time with people we love. Those subtle graces of kindness all around us. Those hidden miracles, care from others, well planned architectures and helpful technologies that are like pavement under our feet, supporting us, elevating us and enhancing our lives. Even the very air we breathe we take for granted.
When things change, we get a chance to see the unfamiliar again. We become strangers. As we are confronted with new seasons, the ambience becomes new. We delight again in the spectacle of the moment and get to open our eyes to what is before us. A new season is here. Breathe it in. Let the newness wash over you. It will become a worn blanket before you know it, so don’t miss it.
Change is coming. Change is here. It can be frightening and uncomfortable too. You might even sneeze! But change brings new life. It infuses our story with new challenges, new perspectives, new opportunities, new friends and new experiences. Be a stranger. Rub your eyes, take a good look. Enjoy the new!