It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Well, today it felt like a good day to pick it up once more. A bit of reflection worth sharing.

The sun eclipse was unfolding as I started writing this. It’s been, as they say, the talk of the town – the internet world, that is, for the last couple of weeks. The town of Niagara Falls has declared a state of emergency last Thursday because of the expected influx of at least one million people coming to witness the event that happens once every 375 years.

Okay, that’s spectacular, I agree. I will be sure to look at photos and videos. However, here’s another take on it. So many of the events unfolding in our world are spectacular and yet they go unnoticed. And way too many of them are taken for granted.

Have you noticed, for example, the small seasonal changes? Sounds mundane when I put it this way, but why not take another look. Take, for example, the park where pup and I go for our daily morning hikes during the week. The buttercups have been staring at visitors for over two weeks now, and so have the yellow bells. As of last Thursday, the first arrow leaf balsamroot yellow blooms are out and trying their hardest to coax out the warmth. Look up close, the details of these blooms are dazzling.

In our yard and garden, there are countless small miracles to witness too: the perennials I didn’t know I have. Lupins, asters, some lilliputian yellow daffodils which I remember as humble, half-dead bulbs I threw in a corner with little hope of seeing any growth but grow they did. There are robins in the still dormant trees out back, magpies too, each with intricate yet unknown to most of us communication means that allow them to perpetuate life in a most unassuming way. Soon, there will be a first hummingbird stopping by the feeder I filled with sugary water today.

I see these little miracles, all spectacular in their way, year after year and the extra heartbeat is there every time. The joy of seeing them again and again, for as long as they hold which could be days, or a glittery blink or two in the case of a hummingbird, is bottomless. Of course there is much written about life, from the smallest increments we can think of and accept without seeing (including some of my favourites – tardigrades, affectionately called water bears which are found in any and hopefully all patches of moss we come across), to the most spectacular big ones that are impossible to miss. Or are they (impossible to miss that is)?

A hug with someone we love dearly – whether child, parent, sibling, beloved spouse, or friend; a special gift and the moment we give it or receive it, ever so precious and never to be repeated, ever again; holding someone’s hand or paw (yes, that too) for the first or last time.

Sunsets that wash away a day of grief and pain, or elevate a day’s joy to the point of tears; the first snowfall and the humbling moment when we stop to observe the intricate shape of snowflakes – each unique and powerless against our warm hand; rain after weeks of hope and the smell of raindrops glazed over hot pavement and thirsty gardens.

Do you see what I mean? There is much hype about big nature shows, and that’s great to pay attention to (minus the media and social media frenzy), but let’s never gloss over the countless small ones that may happen only once in a lifetime or once a year. Come to think of it, everyday happenings, starting with opening our eyes to another day of being alive, seeing the sky, or hearing a loved one’s voice anew… They are crowd-less affairs, but I dare say just as spectacular and worth the awe as a sun eclipse.