Wise Words – The World Is Full of Magic Things

“The world is full of magic things waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

William Butler Yeats


I can’t be sure this quote belongs to W.B. Yeats, but it certainly fits with how he saw the world, as a place of enchantment.

It places the source of wonder not in our powers of vision, but in the things around us. It is the world that is alive and we who are the dullards. If we can look up from the mental whirlwinds that absorb us and drop the preconceived packaging we use to keep the world safely in place, we can awaken our senses and see where magic is afoot.

For most of us, our perceptions are dimmed because we look at life through the same old, tired filters. These filters fog our perception like glasses made from Coke bottle bottoms. But we can revive our senses by dropping our filters, even briefly.

I will make you a promise. Try this experiment of attention and attitude for 30 seconds, and your senses will awaken to things you have been ignoring.

Pick a spot, perhaps while taking a walk. Close your eyes.

Take one slow breath, and as you let it out, settle into your feet. Take a second breath, deeply in and deeply out.

As you relax, choose to adopt Yeats’ belief, just for the moment, as a whim, that the world is full of magic things. Look for something new and fresh in the sounds you hear, in the sensations on the hairs of your arms, in the air around you.

Now open your eyes and look around softly. Take in the view as a whole, not dissected into parts. Look for what is magical.

Do you see it, even in small portions, in the people around you whose lives trail behind them, their futures leaning forward, who are sharing this precise moment with you; in the trees and plants nearby, sheltering countless birds and insects; in buildings near and distant, housing hidden dreams and dramas, worries and laughter, a million aspirations longing to be known; in conversations overheard, listening for the subtle meanings beneath the spoken word?

Looking for what Yeats would see, can you detect the magic here, waiting to be brought to life by your attention and appreciation? And haven’t your senses grown sharper by the effort of your looking?

Photo by Alex Shuper on Unsplash

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