Wise Words – The Magic of Small Moments Can Open You

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time.”                          

Iris Murdoch


My wife and I were walking in our neighborhood on a late fall day, the afternoon light falling at an angle. I had zipped my jacket tight to my neck to keep out the chill. The leaves had been dropping for weeks, many of the trees were bare and brown.

“Look,” Linda said, and pointed to my left. I turned my head and right beside me was a single rose sitting on a long stem, arresting and incongruous. Set against the pale background and the soft light, it was stunning. The rose was in full bloom, its deep pink petals nearly spent, about to drop and join the brown leaves. It was the last rose in sight, alone and radiant in a splash of unreasonable beauty.

A rose this late in the season is rare, a small miracle. I had been looking down and nearly missed it. Linda and I stopped for a moment to take in this drop of beauty and then continued our walk. It was a small moment, but when a small moment shakes you awake, it’s important to let yourself be mad with joy, if even for a moment.

How many other small moments am I missing, oblivious to their magic? Too many to count.  A rose unseen, a smile unnoticed, a conversation where I am not fully present. I like to think we take small moments for granted because there are so many, like flowers spread across a field. But Iris Murdoch reminds us that there are, in fact, planets without flowers. And any people there would pull at our sleeves and shout to us that we’re insane to pass them by.

A parade of small moments is always orbiting around us. If we are present to them, they can open us, like a late rose in autumn, cracking the shell of an ordinary day and letting in the angled light of magic.  

For a while, my neighborhood will be like those barren planets. The next flowers due are the azaleas and camellias, their tight buds still weeks away from opening, and after those, the impossible glory of crocuses, tulips and lilies. A million small moments yet to fall, just waiting for me to notice.

Photo by Yulia Khlebnikova on Unsplash

Reminder: Edgewalker Cafe – Simplify What We Do

Join me and several friends and thought leaders on December 8 as we discuss ways to simplify our lives in the midst of busy-ness.

Date: December 8, 2022, Time: 10 – 11:15am ET. Visit the Edgewalkers website to get the Zoom link for this event.

6 Replies to “Wise Words – The Magic of Small Moments Can Open You”

  1. Beautiful Steve. I am sure to be more observant and appreciative of the small moments with that lovely written reminder.

  2. Thanks for this reminder to bring my presence to these small moments because they bring a smile to my face and remind me that Divine gifts all around me, especially when I forget that. Happy Holidays!

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