Greetings everyone. Please see the two photos of Lia, Joey and I in the window in my living room, looking out to the ocean. In one of the photos Lia was maybe 1 1/2 years old. The one where she is pointing off to the right was taken a couple of weeks ago. When I first took her onto my terrace she looked out at the ocean and said, “Wow!” She was able to feel a sense of wonder the first time seeing the ocean. One time I took her to Marine Park for a short walk. I knelt down next to her and I pointed to the base of a large tree. As she watched my pointing finger slowly rise, her eyes followed up along the tree, to the very top where the leaves and the branches actually met the leaves and branches of other trees, with the beautiful blue sky above. She said, “Wow.”
Now let’s go back to the photos of us standing at my window. Notice that in the photo taken recently she is pointing up and off to the right. She is actually pointing at a gull, watching the arc of its path. When us adults look at the ocean, unfortunately we just see ocean. But when Lia looks at the ocean she sees the arc of the gull, the cloud formations, the planes flying over us and then out of sight, the cargo ships off in the distance, the boardwalk, the people on the boardwalk and the dogs that some of them are walking. I love when I suggest that she call out to them, and every time she does, waving her hand and saying, “Hello.”
Why does Lia see the things that so many of us miss? I believe it’s because she is seeing and comprehending these things for the first time. What a beautiful way to experience life. If only we could see through the eyes of a toddler, as if we are seeing everything for the first time. Well here’s the thing – we can. We absolutely can. Just slow down a bit, take moments to grasp what’s right before us. Notice the beauty all around us, and the beauty in each other. It’s something that we can practice, and it is certainly worth the effort.
Thank you everyone. And thank you Lia and Joey, and all of the toddlers in our lives, who can teach us so much.