It occurred to me as I sat on the living room couch that new experiences are desired because we are so alert in them. We don’t want to miss what’s going on around us so we become intensely present. We listen more carefully as it’s an unfamiliar setting; we are more sensitive to visual stimuli because our brains are wired to constantly scan the environment for potential threats; we are more sensitive to sensations because we are not already accustomed to them. Not to say that we are in a mode of fear, necessarily; rather, we are in a state of newness, thus, by nature, more aware of what we don’t know.
This evening I listened as the windchimes rang against one another on the front porch, as the dishwasher sprayed water onto the dishes; I looked around the room at all the Christmas decorations and the spaces that were once empty now filled. Even as I write I consider the way my feet feel as they sink into the soft carpet and I remember when my foot first touched it, ever. January 2, 2017. It was all brand new; we were the first tenants to live on it.
“Everything loses its luster.” I remember the pastor of the church I went to in Georgia saying that. It stuck. I wonder if I’ll ever forget it. I don’t remember the context for his phrase, but the statement stood out regardless.
Everything loses its luster…
Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.” What bold words! The kingdom of God is of little children — to whom everything is of awe and wonder, newness, freshness, glory and praise. Jesus even references scripture that says, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise”; they enjoy life around them, are perpetually in awe of it; constantly praising the wonders around them.
I was more present when I first moved here. I’d sit and listen to every sound I could; I’d look at all the walls and floors, the doors and cabinets and counters. I sat for hours in this house, barely using technology save for listening to recorded talks that had been previously downloaded to my phone.
I’m not sure what I did in those moments. But I felt more peaceful than I had in years; I enjoyed the emptiness, the sounds that entered the quiet and the quiet that permeated the space in spite of the sounds that interrupted.
It was the beginning of a hatching, I presume. Perhaps I am always hatching. Pecking away at what has enclosed me, limited me, kept me from spreading my wings. Ideas to which I’d once subscribed, thoughts to which I’d abide, crashing down and away with the pointy beak of inquiry.