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The Ordinary

Our mailman rings our doorbell. I open the door, taking the bulky envelope from his hands. “Thank you,” I say.

“Let me grab the rest of your mail for you so you don’t have to get it later,” he says. He jogs back to his mail truck and brings the rest of our mail back to where I stand.

“That was kind,” I say.

“Do you have a minute?” he asks. “You have something beautiful in your yard, and I thought you might want to see it.”

I step outside, shielding my eyes as they adjust to the sunlight.

“Look at this,” he says. He points up toward the elm tree in our front yard. There is a spider web stretched between the branches. The light is catching the web in such a way that the threads seem to sparkle. The web appears to have no beginning or end. It is perfectly organized geometry.

We stand under the tree, six feet apart. We look up together at the crisscrossing threads. The spider is hard at work, adding to its design. There is silence for a few moments.

“It’s beautiful – really beautiful,” I finally say.

We stay like that – just seeing – for a while.

I wonder if this interaction would have happened six months ago. Would we have had the necessary attention to see these small wonders when our world was big, and we were constantly floating here and there? Would we actively seek ways to find the small details in our surroundings? And even if we did, would we have taken the extra effort to bring someone else into that moment with us? 

It’s nice, standing there together, seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.