My 15-month-old niece is the clear example of how to be surprised by life. She is happy crossing her small fingers, sighs and opens her bright eyes when she touches different textures, while with her gaze she looks amazed at the origin of the sounds.  The beautiful Julieta -my niece-, lives in constant admiration with this, which is now her world... In fact, even my curly hair has been the object of research by her.  And to think that we were all like that, with that fervent desire to discover everything around us; however, as we "learned" what it was about, we also got used to seeing it as something simple.  Although the question is, do we really know the value of everything we have already supposedly discovered? Or did we just take it for granted that we understood it?

A rather popular saying says that, "You don't know what you have until it's gone.” This was exactly what I felt a few months ago when I suffered a terrible respiratory infection. I had always breathed through inertia, but now the terrible pain in my chest forced me to be aware of how I was going to aspirate some oxygen.  With each limited breath I remembered what my life was like before this illness, I began to fill my mind with memories of gratitude for those days when the air came in and out of my body harmoniously.  Wrapped in a spirit of melancholy hope, I told myself that if I regained my health, I would always give thanks for an act as perfectly synchronized as that of breathing...Definitely, sometimes, to see the obvious, it needs to go away!

It's true that in a world where everything turns too fast, the "little details" often go unnoticed, but it's imperative to take a moment to see, smell, hear and feel what is not as "little" as we think it is. For example, allow yourself to sit at the table with a grateful heart for the food you are about to eat, and then revel in the combination of the freshness, sweetness or crispness of the food... appreciate the explosion of flavours melting in your mouth, close your eyes and simply enjoy.  On the next visit to the park, look at those huge trees that have quietly accompanied you on your walks, while your head was full of worries about the bills to be paid, of fear to fail in that important project, of hope for that job promotion, of illusion for that fantastic romantic date... pay attention, they are right there purifying the air so you can think more clearly or to maximize the achievement of your well-deserved triumphs. Some afternoon, in your workplace, you might remember how much you like to be listened to, so... what if this time you listen to that friend who has been feeling distressed for quite some time? With genuine interest and respect, give him the best you can give someone, which is nothing more than the goodness of your humanity.

There are countless events that teach us the background of beauty inside and outside of us. From watching your fingers glide gracefully on the computer keyboard, to delighting in the warm scent of that coffee on a cold winter morning. Let us not allow that child, who cheerfully used to jump over puddles of water, to sink into the swamp of shallowness.  If life is in continuous motion, then stop for a moment to observe it, before it leaves in front of your eyes without realizing it. It is better that one day you can say "Thank you life, I lived knowing it" to say, "Forgive me life, I lived without knowing it."

Ángela López, Author.



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