It's those sunflowers that grow on the side of the road...
They always get me. They just beam at me.
And I smile as I drive because I love those summertime sunshine flowers and I love that they’re always there.
Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
And it’s those halos of yellow and orange and gold that sprout up like wildfire all over the roadside – the boring roadside – that remind me to put on my miracle shades and roll down the windows.
They strike me with their brightness. I can’t help but light up a little myself and I try not to stare too long as I drive. Yes, there is beauty everywhere. Yes, it is easy to miss all these little miracles in the busyness of life. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to see the wheat rippling in the breeze or a thousand sunny flowers on your way to work, and stop for a moment and admire. It takes discipline to keep looking and stopping to see with more than just your eyes on a daily basis.
But more importantly, when you make this a habit and you practice it with gratitude, those miracle shades start to change other things too: ugly things, broken things, painful things. We see the cycles of the seasons, we watch the faithful rising sun each morning and evening, we laugh at the squirrels chasing and climbing their way through life. We follow the bees to the flowers and they dip their legs in and fly home. We learn to not just appreciate the beauty but to see it as miracle.
When you see a little, you start to see more.
They say that a miracle is something that cannot be explained by scientific or natural law. So maybe science can explain what’s happening when the Northern Lights come to play, but can it really? Is that not still a miracle of light that inspires awe and wonder? So we learn to see the simple, the natural, as miracle too. And then we see that there are miracles all around – everywhere you turn.
The miracle shades become even more vibrant and maybe we look in the rear view mirror and we see some bright dots in that dark patch we went through. We start searching for more. We start hunting for the stars in the blackness. But is it the stars alone that make the night sky such a majesty? Stars shine day and night but it’s the night that allows us to see.
So when we can’t explain the suffering, could we dare to call it a miracle too? What of this whole world can we truly explain? We name based on feelings and understanding, but the truth is, we simply don’t know. We are limited.
That’s what miracle shades are: a way of seeing despite our limitations. They are not just bright or optimistic or positive. They are vibrant. You see the contrast. You see the color. You see the radiance of it all together, and how the miracle isn’t just the blinking stars but the whole experience in full.
So, I name it all miracle. I call it all good. Sometimes I see, sometimes I don’t. And a lot of the time I wait. I wait – and look – to see because I know I will. I believe it, somewhere deep down, that no matter how much life hurts at times, no matter what I see now, no matter what I feel…there is always more. And it is going to be stunning.