December 15

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I started taking pictures of snowflakes with a digital microscope.  How exciting, to see the crystals up close!  But, boy, do my fingers get cold as I adjust the focus!  After an hour, I start to do the calculation: one more beautiful snowflake, against a bit more pain in my hands.  And if all the flakes are similar, I start to think, well, I've already got that kind, I may as well go in. 

The Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello said that this kind of thinking can get in the way of really seeing the world.  Once you teach a child the names of the birds, he explained, then when the child sees a sparrow, instead of seeing the wonder of that creature, the child may say "Oh, sparrows. I've seen sparrows."

Right now you might have a pocket full of quarters with beautiful designs for the states or the national parks.  Maybe you collected them at some time.  But then, when you saw your second or third Delaware quarter, some of the excitement wore off.  Instead of a beautiful tiny artwork, you saw "nothing new". 

Today's invitation is to notice familiar things again, and remember that sense of wonder. 

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