It’s been two years now since a young man came to our front door on a Saturday afternoon to ask if it would be okay if he stood on our stencil-painted brick steps to propose to his girlfriend the following weekend (read Huff Post story here).
Steps are steps, right? Well, maybe not. What appeared as a series of steps to my husband and me had transformed into a magical destination for someone else.
Perception. Imagination. What one person perceives as utilitarian — a means to move from here to there — another person imagines as a work of art, worthy to be the stage for the most important question he’s ever asked.
Those steps have never again been “just steps.” I now see them through a different lens, a lens which opened my eyes to a different possibility that had never crossed my mind. The view from the young man’s lens enriched my appreciation, believe it or not, of those steps.
How dull the world if people came off an assembly line one after the other, all identical, with everyone only seeing steps! But, no, we each view life through our own unique lens. That different lens provides the world with remarkable diversity.
Note to Self: Recognize there’s more than one way to approach, understand, or view life. Appreciate diversity.
A week later, at the appointed time, my husband and I watched discreetly through our front window as the young man kneeled upon the magical steps before his girlfriend and proposed. At that moment, their world expanded, a new threshold revealed, ripe with potential. Tears in my eyes, I recognized all of us are actually presented with this fresh beginning each morning we open our eyes to greet a new day. I admit there are days my lens turns cloudy and I fall into the rut of my daily routine, forgetting to savor life, which tends to pass us by in a blink of the eye.
Note to Self: Each day is a gift. Treat it as such. Embrace possibility. Stir the imagination. Do one thing differently, outside the routine. Learn the name of a new flower, sing a song out loud, greet a stranger when out walking. Be present.