On a typically hurried somewhat ordinary late afternoon, I was using my salad spinner while making dinner. My son, Adam, in his classic way of catching me off-guard asked me, "Mommy, can I please hold that beautiful thing over there?" Somewhat distracted and only half-listening, I had no clue what he was talking about. He went on to describe it: "That beautiful clear thing with stripes and diamonds that spins around making pretty patterns!" (A finger gesture helped me out a bit!) A-ha! The salad spinner! Mystery solved! And then it dawned on me. My amazingly think-outside-of-the-box 4-year old had given me yet another lightbulb moment. I stopped what I was doing and really looked at the salad spinner, perched near a sunny window, light filtering through.
It. was. beautiful.
The sun cast diamond shadows across the counter-top. My eyes got lost in the symmetry of opaque rectangles in spiral design, the view of the outdoors visible through its holes. I would even go so far as to say it was... breath-taking. Yes, my salad spinner was breath-taking.
Sometimes it takes a child to see the beauty we don't see. With eyes of innocence and wonder, everything around them is a feast for the senses. Unhurried by life's obligations and distractions, kids take the time to really see.
It reminded me of that old James Russell Lowell poem, To The Dandelion--the one where a simple dandelion was the surprising favorite:
"How like a prodigal doth nature seem,
When thou, for all thy gold, so common art!
Thou teachest me to deem
More sacredly of every human heart,
Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam
Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret show,
Did we but pay the love we owe,
And with a child's undoubting wisdom look
On all these living pages of God's book."
Untainted by the the idea that this bright cheerful flower was a mere weed that chokes out pristine lawns, dandelions really are delightful. And so are salad spinners.
Take some time to really see the beauty all around you. Look with the wonder of a child's eyes at the way shadows dance, how sunlight makes dust sparkle. See the beauty in the simple, the mundane, the ordinary. You may be surprised at what pleasures await.