My drive to work this morning was just like any other spring morning. It was Monday so the mental transition from my weekend self to my weekday self was still underway. For some reason, today, I was keenly aware of the cascading to-dos...projects to tackle, meetings to prepare for, unexpected emails and voice mails that would need to be addressed in between my already packed schedule and so on.
I found that I'm usually so consumed by these thoughts that I completely miss the hundreds of tiny special sights on the way. The children enthusiastically waiting for the school bus in their fresh spring clothes, birds chirping, construction workers clearly wishing they were somewhere else, and fellow drivers in such a rush that they barely stop at stop signs to avoid having to wait for anyone else. You know, the normal stuff. This small moment in time was outside the vortex that I'm so accustomed to operating in when I have things to do and people to see. Even though I know these happenings exist because I see them everyday, I rarely witness them. As simple as it sounds, this moment was refreshing and instructive.
I'm not sure why I tuned in to my surroundings at that moment, on a Monday morning like any other, but am so glad that I did. Who knows what really happens in these seemingly insignificant moments when we choose to flip the switch on the perpetual "what's next" type of thinking. What I do know (or perceive) is that it only distances us from our ability to be present and appreciate the tiny bits of peace and enlightenment that are only available when we choose to not only know our surroundings, but to be keenly aware of them.