Look for the Unexpected Things

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Recently, I went to a grocery store that I often stop at on Sunday evenings. In the middle of hemming and hawing over whether I was going to splurge on the good crackers from the deli section or the cheaper ones on the cracker aisle (I chose neither and got pita chips), I noticed a flash of movement above the entrance to the store. I looked up to find a whole row of offices behind a glass wall running between the entrance and exit doors. The discovery that I had missed seeing them in the at least six years I had stopped to get fresh bananas was startling. How could I have missed something so huge and obvious a few feet above my head?

The obvious answer is that I am always on a mission to get what I need and get back out when I go to the grocery store on Sunday. By that point, I’ve been away from the house for hours and dinner is either tucked away in my car or waiting for me at home.

I almost missed the turtles too. Jonathan pointed them out to me as I snapped a picture of the color of the river close to our house. I was so focused on the literal big picture I was capturing that I missed the tiny sunbathing turtles on the branch.

And maybe I didn’t see the offices or the turtles because I didn’t know to look for them. The old saying goes, “We see what we want to see.” If you don’t know what you want to see or if you don’t dare think you might actually see it, then you’re likely to miss it even if it is right in front of you. Sometimes, you need others to point it out for you. Sometimes, you need to slow down and look around. Sometimes, you need to practice your imagination and look for the wild, wonderful, and unexpected things.