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Look…. and then look more closely

Says the caption for this image at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. So look.. and then look more closely for all the coolness within….

Linking to #SixWordSaturday over at TravelWithIntent after a long while.. Once again, at the start of the year, hoping to link up with this and other weekly linkups at least once a month.

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Look More Closely Indeed

When we look more closely at the world around us, we discover that the best treasures we have are hidden in plain sight. Many of us learned to look closer at our homes and our immediate surroundings in recent years, during the pandemic! Maybe not learned as much as did it because, well, we had not much else to do while we were in yet another online meeting with the video turned off, or when we needed to take a break from work but could not go farther than maybe around the immediate neighborhood.

While I tend to notice the offbeat, the quirky, the misplaced item more often than not and more often than the others I am with while on walks/travel/elsewhere/at home, it seems more accidental than through conscious effort on my part. So I have been trying to cultivate this habit… the one where I look more closely.. and not just look, but use all my senses to observe the world around me.

Can you guess what flowers these are pictured below? This was a delightful discovery for me this past week in my garden 🙂

Why to Look More Closely

When we attempt to look closer, we slow down, we pause, and we learn to appreciate the moments. We notice the beauty of the spiderweb on the rose bush in our backyard.

And that favorite perch on the neighbor’s for that particular hummingbird who comes to our feeder. We notice that she (I think it is a she) spends time perched there to guard the feeder (mine, mine, mine – I hear her saying in the flutter of her wings). We realize how loud that flutter is at close range – and that makes us realize the speed at which the hummingbird flutters its wings to stay still in midair!

This takes away worries and ignites our spark of wonder…

We see that hunchbacked old man cross the street every so often around the same time, and wonder where he is walking from and to. (Note: I really want to be able to ask him the next time I see him, for I have been seeing him for years. Wearing the same gray work jacket. I want to learn more about his life for there is something so very poignant and joyful in each sighting of him)

This helps build our empathetic muscles..

How to Look More Closely

Slow down….pause…take a deep breath…

Well, just slow down and pause and take a deep breath as you start looking closer…

Engage your senses

As I mentioned earlier, use all your senses to observe things. Listening to the leaves rustle in the wind, feeling the smooth texture of the bark of the madrone tree versus the roughness of an oak, take in the smell of baking / coffee/ your favorite meal or simply fresh air.

Note carefully how your perception of the familiar changes at a closer look. This also applies to people and places – familiar and new. By trying to pause and understand people and their behavior, and maybe even asking key questions, you can end up discovering something new even the people you love and know very well. The same with places, even your home and neighborhood.

Document your discoveries

Create a visual or written diary of your observations. Capture the details that captivate you, jot down your thoughts, or sketch the scenes that leave an impression. Documenting your discoveries not only reinforces your connection with the world but also serves as a time capsule of your unique perspective.

To Summarize

In a world that seems to be constantly in motion, slowing down and looking closely is almost an act of rebellion – a rebellion against overlooking the extraordinary in the ordinary. So, let’s enjoy taking a closer look at things, people, and the world around us.

Talking about this world of ours that is constant motion, here is some weird proof that being on the move has taken over slowing down… I talked about ‘set’ and ‘run’ in this post. Check it out for more cool facts about these two words and others as well.

It’s not just a change in perspective; it’s a profound shift in the way we experience and appreciate the world around us. As we become keen observers, we embark on a journey of continuous discovery, finding joy in the overlooked and beauty in the details. Open your eyes, zoom in, and let the world unveil its wonders to you.

Related Reads and More

And Now the End of This Post

Dear reader, what did you find most recently when you looked more closely? Let me know.

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