• Austen Hayes

Dose # 8: One Singular Sensation

"Just one step. Just one mile. Just one dollar. Just one kiss. When we look at life through the lens of 'one', everything becomes much more attainable." (or beautiful, or feared) ~ Mick Ebeling


From inside the glass-enclosed waiting area, I see a single snowflake. Large, bright white, strong in flight, taking its time, not a care in the world, weaving in wide swaths, this way and that. The only flake in sight. A feeling of wonder.


The country road is dark as I drive home. I pass a local church. There, standing alone, one handsome deer, fur glistening in perfection under the glow of holiday lights. A feeling of gratitude.


I once saw an elderly woman standing at her open doorway, holding one egg, then losing her grip, look in horror as it slipped to the ground. She lived alone in the building where I lived. One egg meant all. I was filled with sadness.

I walk in a field with hundreds of sheep. It's one ewe I notice. She cries out for her missing lamb. The lamb appears...the mother stops wailing. I'm filled with joy.

On the train, passengers lost in phones and tablets - crammed into every corner. One woman reads a book - a book she can hold. I think she has a mind and a mind of her own. I feel admiration.


I once knew a woman who because of her youth and beauty, was given the privilege of kitchen duty in a Nazi camp. Leaving her job each night, she carried one potato between her legs - one potato for one starving prisoner. I am in awe of such goodness.


In a crowd of weary grown-ups, I hear one baby - cooing, giggling. His mother holds the infant as he steadies one tiny fist to clutch her gold chain. My own weariness is replaced with warmth and hope for us all.


The singular. One flower in a vase. One cookie left. One yes. One magnificent face. One dollar in your pocket for gas. One child in Yemen.

Sometimes one means lack. Sometimes appreciation. Sometimes having only one will change your life. Sometimes, one is what God is trying to let you see.


To notice, to see, we must lift our heads. Lift them above and away from things coming at us fiercely by the dozens - information, noise, pitches, come-ons, requests. We're consumed by stories of thievery and lies, repeated and re-framed all day long. We're lost in a sea of choice and plenitude.


There - when you are quiet - you see the thing that is one.

One Wooden Cross - Slave Chapel Middleton Plantation, Charleston c1650

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