During our time at the beach during spring break, one day we were having lunch together as a family, eating our sandwiches from our laps on the porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Always a beautiful sight. This particular day, it was calm on the water, almost lake-like. The skies were a perfect blue, and there we enjoyed the usual variety of amazing birds flying up and down the beach. Next we watched as one of our neighbors took a sea kayak out on the beach and set off into the water.
That’s when our 6-year old, Michael, commented:
“Mom and Dad, that guy makes the world like a frame.”
When we asked him to explain what the heck he was talking about, he held up his two thumbs and fingers and made a square ‘frame’ towards the beach scene and said:
“It’s like a picture, you see….Uhm, well no… actually” … as he continued to process his thoughts, “I guess it’s like the whole world is a painting and God gets to do the painting.”
(He’s become quite the artist, I should mention. So he’s seeing things that he wants to draw and paint everywhere he looks. It’s awesome!)
Cute of course, but I took a slightly more profound reminder. To see your surroundings as a painting is to appreciate them with much more respect and admiration than we do by default. We all are surrounded by so many blessings and wonderful things that it’s so painfully easy to take it for granted. We must work really to take pause, slow down, and look around!
Do you ever set vacation pictures up on your desktop? or use them as your screen saver? or just have them framed on your desk? I love vacation pictures. I love the feeling I get when I clean off my desktop and see one of the amazing sights we’ve enjoyed over the years… what I don’t love is having to click back into e-mail and cover up that vacation photo. I have to instantly be transported from a wonderful memory to the “blah” real world. So lately I’ve decided to take advantage of this observation and appreciate the moments when the vacation photos are being taken as rare and extremely lucky. When we actually ARE sitting on the beach is the time to step back, think about what feelings I will have when I’m looking at these photos 6 months later and know that right now I am in this moment and there is no place else I can imagine being.
Try to look in your yard this spring, or spend some time by a lake, or go to the beach and imagine that you are in a painting. It may just help you appreciate the moment a little more.