A friend described a weekend trip that she and her husband made to Vermont. They stopped at a maple syrup farm and had a chat with the owners about the process of making syrup. They learned about the best weather conditions for tapping the trees and how the flavor changes the more the sap is cooked. Before leaving, my friend bought bottles of syrup and maple candies. But when they got back into the car, her husband complained, “How can you enjoy talking about maple syrup when the world is in such a mess?”
Actually, this is exactly the right time for such talk. Maple syrup can’t immunize you against the coronavirus, run a bad leader out of office, or reverse climate change. But it is a gift of grace that you receive without having to do anything to “earn” it. Such gifts remind you that there is stubborn resilience in the world, even when you feel weak, powerless, or despondent. They transform the ordinary into something magical and extraordinary.
What “ordinary” aspect of nature in your immediate vicinity could use a little rediscovering? An old tree stump quietly transforming as it rots? Tough, pale tufts of grass in a vacant lot nobody ever looks at? Even the sky’s shifting clouds and colors reflected in an office window? Something magical is near you and waiting to be noticed.