The Exquisite Beauty of Ordinary Things

I just finished a zoom gathering with three girlfriends I’ve known for more than thirty years. We make a point of seeing each other now and then to reconnect and catch up on our lives. I always leave our get-togethers filled with gratitude for the remarkable nature of long-term kinship – soul family fastened to each other beyond space and time.

One of our topics of conversation today was about synchronicity and the things that happen when we’re in the flow. After reverse-engineering these experiences, we arrived at the conclusion that serendipitous events stem from being rooted in the present moment. When we’re planted in the “now,” life seems to work in surprising and sometimes miraculous ways.

After our call, I set out to do a few errands with the intention of staying in the moment as much as possible. As I locked the front door, I made a point to feel the key in my hand, the walkway underfoot, and the cold breeze that grazed my cheeks. As I stepped onto the driveway, I stopped for a moment, took a long, deep breath, and smiled up at the sky. Life is good, I thought to myself.

I made my way toward the garage when it occurred to me that I was all dressed in black wearing a bright blue mask. I should have searched for a black one before I left, I thought to myself. But I continued onward. Already I’d left the present moment and I laughed out loud at my humanness. Come back, I told myself as I opened the garage door.

Once in the driver’s seat, I glanced down at the passenger side floor only to find a black mask sitting on the carpet. Well there you have it, I thought, my first synchronicity.

Driving to the store, I continued focusing on the moment. I noticed the swaying trees along the sides of the road, the feel of the gas pedal under my foot, the sound of dogs barking, or cars passing by. When I arrived at my destination, the area was teeming with traffic and after driving around the block a few times, I finally pulled into a parking spot.

As I headed for the front door, I stepped off the curb just in time to meet a car turning the corner toward me. I quickly jumped out of the way, stumbled onto the sidewalk, and stopped to catch my breath. At that moment, I looked down at my feet and found this stone sitting on the walkway:

Another synchronicity.

As I continued my errands throughout the morning, I noticed that the more I stayed present to my immediate experience, the more alive and engaged I felt with life. This feeling moved me beyond the miraculous nature of synchronicity and flow to something even more important – an appreciation for the exquisite beauty of ordinary life.

Each day I pray for those who are struggling during this pandemic – those who have lost loved ones, health, jobs, money, and hope. As a sensitive woman, I can easily tap into the pain of the world and it’s overwhelming at times. But the experience of presence brings me home. It reminds me that joy lives in small places and that it’s in this moment we find optimism and the promise of tides turning.

“Come back” is the mantra that delivers this magic. An invitation to inhabit right here, right now. As I finish these words and glance out at the feeder, I see a red-winged blackbird arrive for breakfast. It’s the first since last autumn and a welcomed harbinger of spring.





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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your LifeLife MakeoversStand Up for Your LifeThe Unmistakable Touch of GraceThe Art of Extreme Self Care, You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, and her new book, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife.

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