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  • Writer's pictureAusten Hayes

This Extraordinary Day

Faced with death, people come alive, seeing everything as if for the first expression they will no longer see, words they will never again hear, raindrops beating against bare skin no longer a disturbance, but a privilege, a reminder of life itself. The boisterous sounds of 13-year-olds stampeding into the coffee shop after school, not an annoyance, but a sharing of the purest energy and joy.

Those who come close to death, then recover, share similar appreciation for what had once been ordinary moments - now glorious, clear, crisp, bright with colour.

Seeing the end we're freed of any need to manage appear richer, smarter, bigger, more fashionable, more keen than others - what matters now is only to be and to breathe in - to absorb, to give. Why must it take dire news or threat of loss to awaken the spirit?

Human bias; illness will never come to me, only to others. Feeling vibrant, it's too burdensome to live with thoughts of endings hanging over our heads. Besides, we're too busy, too fearful, too wanting, too cynical...too lacking in amazement.

Author, theologian, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, "Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible, to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed." His words alone, amaze.

Henry David Thoreau tells us to "Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked", in which we, "walk with love and reverence".

Today, make room for amazement. Make room for wonder. See what is extraordinary in the most simple - the small bud, bordered by cement, showing itself in hope, the sun as it rises - again - the sounds of wind, the magnificent brown hue in the eyes of the person you love, the plea from someone in need, the word you learned today, the author whose ideas lift your soul, the bird who sings for you, the air - to breathe in.

Morning Rain

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