Ordinary Beauty

Written on by Sheri Shifman

Ordinary Beauty, written by guest blogger, Amy Wilson

It was a late Tuesday morning as my son and I strolled down the driveway. I say strolled because my son Silas was just learning to walk. He would toddle a few steps, plop down to examine the ground, his fingers lingering over stones embedded in the concrete, wander over to the grass, yank a clump or lean over a wish flower attempting to blow on it (you know the ones, the dandelion seed flowers where as child you would make a wish, breath deeply then blow all the seeds into the wind hoping your wish might come true). We were getting nowhere fast.

As walks go, this one felt particularly tedious. In the back of my mind, there were the breakfast dishes still in the sink, the wash sprawled on the sofa waiting to be folded, and the bathroom that hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned in two weeks. My intentions were to get a little walk in, bask in some sunshine, and get back to the mundane tasks. But Silas had other ideas. What was I thinking? Everything seemed to grab his attention. I realized an unrestrained toddler plus a busy, big world would not add up to a short walk.  When we reached the end of the driveway, Silas was pointing excitedly towards the sky. In the direction of his outstretched finger were sliver and blue metallic fringe pennants hanging from poles. (I had to look up the name of these because I really had no a clue what they were called.) We had reached the car dealership at the end of the block that used these pennants to draw attention to their business. I had passed this dealership countless times and can’t say I ever fully noticed them. But seeing my son looking at them, in awe, I couldn’t help but share in his wonder. The sun was bright, and it was a popcorn cloud sky. The breeze made the pennants dance and reflect the light. So, we stood, the two of us, for a full two minutes watching them sway.

As we stood, I couldn’t help but stare at my son. Our life is pretty ordinary, filled with ordinary tasks that can seem mundane. There is always something to do or something left undone in our little apartment.  Each morning there’s a list of to dos running through my mind.  In this moment, though, they didn’t seem important nor did I care about completing them. Here I stood with this amazing little human who I have the absolute privilege of calling son. The sun was shining, and his little fingers clutched mine. It was a beautiful moment.

Silas playing with a rockFurther into our walk, we came across a bed of rocks by a U-Haul storage building. I must admit, I’ve never noticed they were there either. Silas immediately began examining each one. This time I sat with him turning over stones, feeling their weight in my hands, some rounded and smooth, others with jagged sharp edges. Together, we stacked a few, counted, lined them up along the sidewalk, and collected three to bring home.  No longer did the walk feel tedious, but it felt like a special moment shared with my son.

Painted RocksWhen we returned home, Silas and I painted the rocks. The ongoing to do list could wait. Silas likes to squish the paint between his fingers and swipe his little paint-stained fingers emphatically all over his tray, mixing the blue, red, and yellow paints. The rocks have long since dried and sit on our dining table as decoration. Some days that feel particularly long, the rocks catch my eye and remind me of that day; the day, where through Silas’ eyes I saw beauty and joy. I’m grateful for those moments where Silas teaches me to find that same beauty and joy in our ordinary life.

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