“Maybe I have been living much too fast, too restlessly, too feverishly, forgetting to pay attention to what is happening here and now, right under my nose. Just as a whole world of beauty can be discovered in one flower, so the great grace of God can be tasted in one small moment.” -Henri Nouwen
Today’s Notice prompt was “a color.” I kept my eyes open for a beautiful color to pop out at me, something that was not only visually appealing but also great writing material. I’ll be honest, I forgot about the task for the majority of the day. But even when I did remember to look around, nothing stood out to me.
Right before dinner I was taking the trash out when I noticed something in the grass: a robin’s egg. Color! The most perfect, beautiful shade of blue.
I looked around for a nest and couldn’t find one, so I brought the egg over to my boys and showed them excitedly. They were thrilled, although initially they thought it was a ball. To two-year-old boys, everything is a ball (or has the potential to become one). I explained to the kids that it was actually an egg, and would eventually become a chirping baby bird. They angled for a better view of this ball/egg, and desperately tried to grab it for closer inspection.
I had visions of us taking on this little robin’s egg as a project, nestling the delicate shell in a towel-lined shoe box underneath a heat lamp until it hatched. Thankfully, before getting a heat lamp Amazon Primed to our house, I had the foresight to Google “how to hatch a robin’s egg.” Apparently, you don’t.
According to the internet, there is a Migratory Bird Treaty Act that prohibits the possession of robin’s eggs. Whoops. I quickly put the egg back where I found it (amidst intense protest from my children) and hoped I hadn’t messed it up too much.
I’m not sure why I’m even sharing this story. I suppose it felt like the small act of paying attention had yielded a disproportionately great reward. The reward being: the enjoyment of such a lovely color, the excitement I got to share with my boys, the opportunity to contemplate the mysteries of God’s creation. I was just taking out the trash, after all, and it would have been so easy to miss that tiny turquoise shell.
The robin’s egg was a reminder that much of my enjoyment in life hinges upon slowing down and paying attention. Even if just to notice the smooth curve of an eggshell, and feel the fleeting weight of it in my palm.