I have a tiny bathroom window that never really required a window treatment until my neighbors two doors up had a bunch of workmen put on an addition to their house. My husband, and other family members, kept telling me I was being paranoid about anyone seeing in that window that high up and being so small. It always concerned me though, so when I was standing in the bathroom looking out and saw the guys up on the roof over there, I decided to make a curtain for it.
The other morning, while I was having my breakfast, my 4 year old granddaughter called out to me. “Grandma, how do you move this?” I had no idea what she was talking about, but since she was in the bathroom, I thought it best to get up to check. She was standing on the toilet, tugging on the new curtain. After I asked what she was doing, she let go and turned to me. “I am looking for the rainbow!” I smiled. The kids realized, a long time ago during the time they lived with us, when the morning sun came shining through that window, there would be rainbows on the door and sometimes elsewhere in the bathroom. They would go looking for them every morning as they started their day. I would hear shrieks and giggles as they cried out, “There’s one!” and “Here’s another one!” You would think they had found the pot of gold instead of just the rainbow. I thought enough time had passed since they moved from here that they had forgotten about it. Not so.
It made me think though how often we let things that aren’t obvious go unnoticed or forgotten. I don’t know if we are lazy, are too easily distracted, or just get too busy, but we forget about what makes us smile or feel good. It might be right there in front of our faces, but we miss it completely. As soon as this lockdown is over and the workmen finish the remodeling job, that curtain will come down. I find I am missing the rainbows, too. What else am I missing? What else have I lost track of or started to take for granted?
It’s not unusual when things get chaotic to overlook the simple things. Whether it’s noise, lack of time, or too much on our minds, we stop hearing the whispers, stop taking the not so clear paths, and try to take the easy way around. Seeing my first robin every Spring just gives me such a surge of hope that soon it will be warm and things will be blooming. It’s an internal need that’s hard to ignore. Yet, there are plenty of things that I haven’t thought about in a long time, but have started bringing back into my line of sight. With the mornings being so quiet, I noticed the first time I walked out the door and heard the birds singing in the trees this Spring. I started noticing the smell of rain in the air again. The lake, now clear of ice, was sparkling so beautifully in the sunlight the other day. I went in search of, and found, the first of my primrose blooming. Their color just popping out of the dark mulch and dried, fallen leaves not raked yet. I took pictures and posted them on Facebook to share with others. I have noticed the unique laughs of my grandchildren and those wonderful giggles make me smile. We have been making art and I love the way they see and create things. I am appreciating seeing my friends and family on FaceTime, talking on speaker phone with my kids, and wondering when the next time will be when we can all gather without health concerns. I think about how others are doing and take the time to check up on them. Now that the blanket of winter has been lifted, I am ready for the newness making its appearance.
And this is the conclusion I came to. While none of those things had disappeared, I forgot to look past the commotion of everyday living to see them with fresh eyes and to appreciate them and the joy they brought me. None of it costs me anything but time to enjoy. I just wasn’t bothering to move the curtain aside to let the sun shine in to create rainbows for me to find. My little granddaughter knew what it would take to find her rainbows. Her day wasn’t going to be complete without them. She stopped playing long enough to search because it was important to her.
The lesson I take from this is to be more like her. Not to let things get in the way of what’s important, no matter how busy I am, how closed off to the world around me I am, and no matter how much I have to move things aside to find it. Sometimes we need to get out of our own way. To listen to what our hearts and souls need. We are never too old to learn. We should never be so distracted that we can’t learn from a child. I find this out on a regular basis. I hope I never forget again. I think the next time she is here, we’ll look for the rainbows together.