Five Ways to Use Five Senses. New Eyes Lesson 3
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson
A very long time ago on a summer morning at the crack of dawn, I mounted my old blue Schwinn bike looking for adventure. I must have looked like a street urchin. I never stopped to brush my hair or give a thought to what clothes I threw on. Mostly I favored crop tops, pedal pushers and what we call flip flops today. All that mattered was getting outdoors and feeling the sunshine and cool morning air on my face.
Maybe I’d spy a baby bird fallen from her nest. Or, I’d be captivated by the empty shells of cicadas clinging to a tree trunk after the winged creatures had escaped them in the night. Sometimes, my pet chameleon Isabelle and I would peddle over to the nearby fire station. The south facing windows there were buzzing with flies and my little lizard would entertain the fireman and me as her lightning fast tongue snared her fill of breakfast.
One particular morning I discovered a puddle drying up. It was shimmering silver with squirming tadpoles. Oh no! I sped home and “borrowed” my mom’s big enamel canner and the fish net from my dad’s cherished aquarium. Single-handedly, I brought them all home, convinced I was rescuing them from certain death from dehydration or hungry birds! My long-suffering parents never scolded or discouraged me from exploring. For that, I’ll always be grateful. Because of them, my life continues to be a field trip and a feast for the senses.
You don’t need an ocean to swim in the sea!
When Emerson penned those famous words about drinking the wild air, he was encouraging us to become aware of the wonders that continually encircle us. We’re surrounded every day by mystery, magic and miracles that go largely unnoticed unless we intentionally tune in. That, dear ones, is what I mean when I encourage you to see life with new eyes!
Emerson was speaking metaphorically, too, about swimming in the sea. We can immerse ourselves in all kinds of adventure right in our own land-locked backyard! It’s huge treat to get away, see new places and experience new things! I love it too but don’t think that your world has to be ordinary and bland. You don’t need to go to Tahiti, take up meditation or contemplate your navel! Life never needs to be dull, no matter where you are!
You don’t even need to see to have new eyes!
Helen Keller was blind and deaf as well!! She was without two of her five God-given senses yet accomplished incredible things because she “saw” life with new eyes. Undaunted by what she did not have, she made the most of what she did possess.
Her accomplishments are still inspiring us. Did she view herself as limited? No way! In Helen’s words, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Those of us with all five senses intact should find her words a challenge to live life to the fullest every single day.
Start right here, right now!
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”~ Theodore Roosevelt
So here’s my little challenge for you. Here are some things you can do, something for each of your senses. Wake up to wonder and begin to see life with new eyes.
Look. Look at the faces of the people you meet. Recognize our shared humanity. Know they have a life as complex as yours. Everyone has history, a story. Be curious, be open and always leave someone better or happier for being in your presence.
Listen. Listen to the music of people around you. At work, in a restaurant. Hear the sounds in your kitchen as you prepare food. The sizzle, the simmer, the sound of water in the sink. Hear the rustle of leaves, the sound of thunder, children laughing. Soak it in.
Feel. Notice the soft flannel of an old shirt. Feel the crepe-like softness of the blue-veined skin on your grandmother’s hands. Wrap your fingers around a steaming mug of coffee and let the warm soak into your bones. Immerse yourself in the soapiness of the dishwater as you clean up after a meal and be grateful.
Inhale. Breathe in the yeasty smell of rustic bread, the aroma of hearty soup. Let the clean freshness of newly washed sheets breeze into your nostrils as you make up a fresh bed. Notice the comforting smell of wood smoke from your fireplace as you come in from the cold. Stop and drink in the crisp smell of winter on your child when she comes in from outdoors.
Taste. Stop and savor before you gulp down your food. Love how chocolate melts into silky sweetness on your tongue. Bite slowly into a crisp apple and let the juice run down your chin. Butter the bread, chew it slowly and enjoy all it’s grainy goodness. Lick a lollipop without biting it, see how long you can make it last.
It’s getting better every day!
Day by day, if you’ll pause just a few seconds to notice, you’ll realize your life will grow richer and richer and it doesn’t cost a dime! It’s almost magical how a slight shift can make such a big difference in how you see the world! Start right now- you’re going love your new eyes!
I nearly forgot one of the most important senses of all! Couldn’t resist adding!
See you Monday! Have a wide-eyed rest of the week!
What a wonderful journey of words and quotes you weave! Thank you!