So I was walking by the early childhood outdoor learning space the other day, when I stopped to chat with a couple of kids playing in the hedges beside the mud kitchen. They were very animated and very interested in some leaves that had fallen from the adjacent tree, and I asked them what they were looking at. They said, “We are looking for fairies because they live in these bushes and they float down from the sky on the leaves!” One of the little girls then said, “My brother says that fairies don’t exist but I know that they do, and I’m going to find one to show him”. I told them good luck and I went on my way, smiling and thinking about how beautiful that interaction was, and how quickly it made my day.
Anyway, a couple of days later I was running through the park close to my house and I turned down a particularly gorgeous tree-lined trail. As soon as I did I noticed dozens of autumn leaves falling from the trees to the ground like soft, colorful snowflakes, and I all of a sudden began to imagine that each leaf had a tiny little fairy riding on it, just like the little girl had imagined. I even slowed down to pick one up, just for fun, to see if I could get that elusive evidence for her but of course, no such luck. As I got going again I started to think about what a gift it must be to see the world like those little kids do, with such imagination, and wonder, and with such a belief in magic and magical things. Things that make us wonder, and excited, and leave us with an absolute sense of awe.
That beautiful run through the park, and that interaction with those fairy detectives opened up my heart to the fact that there is beauty and magic all around us, and sometimes we just need to be reminded to open up our eyes and look for it. Over the past week I have been trying hard to notice as many magical, awe inspiring things as I can, and you know what, it’s hard to keep count. Just in the last couple of days alone I’ve seen a double rainbow, shades of autumn colors that I have never seen before, a brightly colored woodpecker outside my house, a cotton candy sunrise and a sunset that looked like it was literally on fire. Not to mention the beautifully haunting sound of the wind just before it rains, and the smell of the world after the rain stops. It’s hard to even walk down the street without being stopped in your tracks by something amazing, but of course, you have to be looking.
Even as I write this I’m looking out the window at two yellow roses that are hanging on tightly to their last few summer petals, and there is a little ladybug clinging to the stem of one of them….so cool. This little reminder has come at the perfect time too by the way, as the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter and the light is getting scarce. The descent into winter is here and these little magical gifts will keep me going during this time of transition. It’s not lost on me that the nudge to open up my eyes to the beauty of our world came from a couple of children, oftentimes our greatest teachers. So with all that said, my challenge to you this week is to search for beauty everywhere you look, and even though you might not find a fairy floating down on a falling leaf, you might just find some joy and gratitude, which is sometimes all you need to keep you smiling through the colder and darker days. Enjoy this poem below, one of my favorites, and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Quote of the Week…
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
– Roald Dahl
Related Articles –
Inspiring Videos- –
The Restorative Potential of Nature’s Beauty – (TED Talk)
Cloudy With a Chance of Joy (TED Talk)
For the Love of Birds (TED Talk)
Fibonacci Magic (TED Talk)