Noticing Things

There's a scene in the musical "Music Man" whereby Marian (Shirley Jones) realizes she's in love with Professor Harold Hill (Robert Preston) and sings:

There were bells on the hill
But I never heard them ringing
No, I never heard them at all
Till There Was You...

I've heard and read how some people speak of liminal moments in their life when they became awake, aware, alive. In a drama series that Alice and I are watching, the main character--after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer--exclaims"I feel woke!"

Might I suggest that one of the silver linings during these troubling pandemic times might be that people have been forced to slow down and re-think goals, values and priorities. Even as we have exceeded that sad, sobering number of 500,000 American COVID-19 deaths, perhaps the disease can be the catalyst for more focused energy. As an example, the other day a friend of ours turned 92. Despite the virus, Sal has not slowed down a bit, is careful to protect his and others' health and yet has still managed to write, publish and narrate a book.

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” —Sherlock Holmes

What I know to be true is that the more you listen and learn, without first judging and labeling, the wider your acceptance becomes for diversity. As my mom would say to us kids, "How boring would life be if everyone were the same."

And guess what? When you are open to learning, you "kick it up a notch", as chef Emeril would say. Concentrating and noticing--even the little things--inspires neurogenesis (the birth of new brain cells) which works to improve your cognitive reserve, your mind's resiliency, and make you less likely to develop dementia.

Finally, as George Washington Carver once wrote: "I love to think of nature as unlimited broadcasting stations, through which God speaks to us every day, every hour."

May something you notice today inspire in you a most astonishing sense of aliveness!