Staring at the azure sky and sea, broken by white and yellow beams of sunlight and splashes of purple, pink, red and yellow flowers, I asked one of my Hawaiian friends if she woke every morning in awe of how beautiful her home was or if all this beauty t had become commonplace to her. She answered me honestly that on most days she didn’t think about it. It was home and she had kids to take care of and a job to do. I nodded, it was the answer I expected even though facing the sparkling, sun-soaked water, it was hard to believe.
But, I understood her sentiments, knowing that in the hustle of everyday life I often didn’t take the time to soak in Vermont’s green mountains, to delight in the trees and wildflowers around me, the mooing of cows, the song of grasshoppers.
And, so I have been making a concerted effort to do so since I returned home. Having walked a lot in Hana, I decided to continue the tradition here. Using the time not only to exercise and pray, but also to notice the world around me.
Today, I set off to walk the stretch of road the people in my town call “The Boulevard.” It is a three-mile loop in back of my house that takes you around through the center of town and back again. Largely rural with a few paved spots, it is not exactly what a city-dweller would consider a boulevard, but it passes for one here.
I snapped some pictures as I walked and realized that I too, have become immune to a smorgasbord of beauty around me. On an average day it may not be as colorful or as brilliant as what I viewed in Hana, but like a subtle pastel or watercolor, the landscape is full of soft color and unappreciated beauty.