Eye of the Beholder

I am officially in mourning for my vacation! We didn’t go far, but that week away from the hustle and bustle was amazing.

Our little house on the marsh was quaint and secluded — and I loved it! We spent our days fishing off the dock, taking long walks around the property to catch a glimpse of the deer, reading on the porch in the big swing, watching the sunsets while the frogs chirped, combing the beach for shells, and eating lots of good food.

Everything seemed beautiful, and interesting, and special.

Edisto, South Carolina

Edisto, South Carolina

I got to wondering, do the people who live here feel like this everyday? I would guess that most of the residents of Edisto are no longer made giddy by the sight of a conch shell or the smell of the ocean. Having grown up in Savannah, Georgia, I can understand. When you live in a tourist town, it is so easy to become desensitized to the magic and wonder that draws visitors from far and wide.

Why does the simple declaration of “vacation” seem to change our point of view? Tourist attraction or not, every place has something special to offer: natural beauty, history, architecture, quirky restaurants or shops. We just overlook them when they are part of our everyday lives. But when we’re on a trip, suddenly we appreciate the sights and sounds around us, and take joy in little things like seashells.

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I am lucky enough to live in the capital city of Columbia, which is brimming with things to do. I think it is time to play the tourist and find those small adventures and beauties hiding in plain sight. All it takes is a fresh pair of eyes!

Things I am going to do and see (or rediscover) in Columbia this spring/summer:

  1. Columbia Marionette Theater
  2. Congaree National Park
  3. South Carolina State Farmers Market
  4. Edventure Children’s Museum
  5. South Carolina State Museum
  6. Sesquicentennial State Park
  7. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
  8. Columbia Museum of Art
  9. Adluh Flour Mill
  10. One Eared Cow Glass
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Monday Musing

I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a bad day. I knew it before I even opened my eyes. I knew it as I mumbled and grumbled and rolled out of bed. When I left for work and opened the door to a rainy, chilly world, I felt vindicated. It was just as I suspected, a gloomy Monday.

I suffered through traffic, a glitchy printer, spilled coffee, and a paper-cut, to name a few tragedies. And as I worked through my lunch, I found myself wishing this day would go faster. Could it be the weekend already!?

Then, unexpectedly, I was asked to come along on a visit to one of my favorite alumnae of the College, a birthday visit. In my sour mood, I had completely forgotten that today was her 101st birthday. And as I sat next to this lovely woman, still brimming with humor and spit-fire in the face of illness and old age and loss, I felt ashamed.

How dare I write off an entire day because of some rain clouds? How dare I wallow over trivial inconveniences? How dare I wish away precious time when we are only blessed with so many days?

In her 101 years, there were many rainy Mondays, but I doubt that she regrets a single one. There were even days when she lost a loved one or dear friend. Of all the days to wish away, but even those days were a gift: a chance to say goodbye, to feel how deeply her heart could ache, and to find peace on the other side.

Today may not be the day for a rainbow or a holiday or a breakthrough in my life, but it is another day on this earth. As I encounter the good and the bad, I need only remember the jesting words of a very grateful 101-year old on her birthday:

“I’m glad you came today. I might not be here tomorrow!”