I paused and looked up.
I actually paused. I think that was my first success.
When I looked up, I let my eyes scan skyward very slowly so that I could actually take note of what was happening between where I was standing and the heavens. What I saw was glorious.
At my feet, my child was laughing and trying to walk as her 4-year-old cousin entertained us with the nature facts he was learning at zoo school, pointing us onward with a stick in the shape of an arrow. To my right was the pond, as still as a mirror with images of clouds and sky, disturbed only by a gentle touch-down by a passing dragonfly. Rays of afternoon sun reflected off the brush in front of me, coating the woods with gold. Just above the golden light was movement. Silver dancing insects spun in circles, up and down, waltzing to the tune of the ending day. Following the bright gray and white tree trunks to their leaves, I saw that they too were spinning in time with the gnats and dusk bugs coming out to celebrate the setting sun. Above the leaves were clouds, like sponge prints on a perfectly blue background. They seemed to pulsate in and out like breath and I had to squint to focus on their shapes and colors amidst the brightest white.
The air was rich with a peat-moss and sweet grass so hearty that I sucked heaving breaths of it into my lungs until my belly bulged out with every inhale, my core muscles feeling tender from the lack of proper use.
In this thirty seconds of the day, I remembered a hundred days as a child. I smelled church camp, long cool hikes, rich green forests, my daddy, my neighbors, my joy in nature, and sunsets, sunsets, sunsets. In less than a minute, I wrapped my arms around my inner child and kissed her lightly on the cheek as we recalled, together, just how full we feel when we pause and SEE.