T

hings pile up.

I could tell you that it’s because of The Three being out of school, the persistent, low-level illness we’ve collectively succumbed to and overcome, or those few days out of town, but the truth is that it happens all the time under every imaginable circumstance.

What’s instructive is the beauty peeking out from all of that clutter—the trash that you think is but then, upon closer inspection, really isn’t.

In something I read earlier today, a writer talked about her intentions for the new year (read her often here at Ripplespillers). I recognized one of the hers to be one that I shared—looking for the goodness in others.

It’s a resolution of a sort I suppose, but in my case it’s one that is intended to push back against what I feel to be a creeping inner-calcification, an increased wariness of others. Maybe that’s to be expected over time. As we age. As we experience more of life’s challenges and the disappointments that sometime accompany them, we want to defend ourselves by developing a crunchy outer shell.

It’s not attractive. It’s not even effective. And it certainly isn’t pleasant. (To be honest, it’s dark inside here and it smells kind of weird.)

So I’m officially on the lookout for magic and creativity, for beauty and kindness wherever I can find it—in people, sure, but especially in the life that I share with my family. To a degree it’s purely selfish: goodness and loveliness lift my spirits. But being open to what’s gentle and beautiful and bright is going to make me a better, more pleasant person in the long run and isn’t that the greatest service I can give to the world around me?

Today, in fact, I started finding amazing, unexpected things while digging things out around the house. One was made by each of The Three just over the last few weeks. Small items, buried under what was piled up, just waiting to be seen as signposts for the magic and beauty waiting to be born out of all things: cardboard and paint, screws and tape.

And people, too.