As a parent, it is deceptively easy to relegate the chaotic free-form howls, screeches, and repeated utterances of "DAAAAAADDDDD!!!!" to nothing more than white noise. I hear them, the neighbors hear them, the fire department two blocks away probably hears them as well - but I can (and do) tune them out at times. It's when things get silent that terror grips me, and I walk/jog to wherever my wild things are to see what is happening.
Because I can hear something a thousand times (again: "DAAAAAADDDDD!!!!") and it loses some of its effect. But when I see - when I truly see - what I am supposed to look at (the small human producing the clarion call of "DAAAAAADDDDD!!!!" for instance), I begin to pay attention.
The whispers of a still, small Voice beckoning my heart sometimes gets drowned out by the hectic pace of life. Sometimes it gets drowned out because I choose to defer listening to it. But when I see - when I truly see - how I act and what I say when my voice takes precedence, I stop. And I begin to pay attention.
Because I know me. Because I know how I tend to take some things for granted. And those times when I stop and truly, deeply observe the world around me, the focus of my soul shifts along with the focus of my eyes:
The mountains, stretching towards the horizon, beckoning adventure.
The skies, ablaze with life, as the sun takes pause to end the day.
The faces of the people I see as I am out and about, remembering they are souls of value.
The eyes of my two year old, as he furrows his brow and arches one eyebrow when learning something new.
The eyes of my six year old, alive with passion and joy over everything except vegetables.
The eyes of my wife, the eyes that have not aged a day since I first looked into them and saw love reflected back to me.
I can read and gain knowledge. I can hear a song and have it move me. I can take an active role in something and grow from it.
But when I look - when I truly, truly look - and when I do more than simply observe?
My #OneWord365 for 2016?