© 2009 Marica

102 -All in the name of?

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.
— Buckminster Fuller

On my bookshelf I have a wordless picture book entitled Belonging by Jeannie Baker. It follows a girl named Tracy through her childhood up until she gets married and becomes a mother. The story is told through a series of thirteen detailed collaged pictures. Each picture is roughly spaced two years apart. The story focuses on community, urban regeneration and green issues, and the cycle of life. It is a beautiful book and a powerful story. I particularly love the message in the author’s note where she says: “People are discovering the need to nurture and be nurtured by the unique character of the place where they live.”

Every day as I look out my office window (I know this is not the place where I live but it is a place where I spend a significant amount of my time) I am reminded of this book.

My office window gives me an unobstructed view of a unique space – our city’s magnificent Civic Square – also Wellington Harbour, the many different buildings surrounding us, the hills and the sky. This window is a living picture frame. Every time I look out at the scene before me it is different. The familiar always becomes transformed in some way by the time of day, the weather, the people, the events taking place, and by me because I will see whatever it is that I choose to focus on in that moment.

Looking out this window by my desk is my way of connecting with something far greater than me and my work. It is always a special moment that leaves me smiling from the inside out. The beauty before me never ceases to amaze me. The view is always interesting and so are the people.

Lately I have observed some very odd behaviours and it seems to all be in the name of Christmas cheer (or is it crazy Christmas parties with their associated team activities). This afternoon there were groups of people dressed in a variety of different costumes racing around in the square. It looked like they were either engaged in some kind of treasure hunt where they had to find out information or cross certain things off a list. I particularly liked the group of men dressed in tutus checking out Mary Louise Browne’s “Seven Steps to Heaven”. At the same time as these pinked up men were prancing around there were two women trying to catch what looked like an ill bird and put it in a box (check out the bottom left hand corner of the picture).

Looking out the window and observing what is going on, even if it is the same scene, is a wonderful way to learn to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Every day, every moment change is happening. You can think you are looking at one thing like a caterpillar and before you know it a butterfly has emerged and is flying around. Life is like that – full of surprises. Some are so small we have to look hard to experience them.

17. Every day look through a new lens.
35. Every day focus on what matters to you.
39. Every day trust that there is a bigger picture. You are a part of it even if you may not know what it is.

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