The boys and I stumbled upon this treasure this morning. I’ve walked past this exact tree countless times in my life and never noticed it. But today, it’s my favorite tree. I watched and sat and savored its brilliance. Jackson even made me smell the leaves. First he claimed they smelled like oranges. Then apples. I thought, they smelled like, well, leaves.
I’ve been working hard to find the brilliance in my own season of life. A season of sticky fingers, urine sprayed across a bathroom floor, excessive negotiating, and maybe even a few (dozen) tantrums. My mind knows this time is short, and rare, and even beautiful, it’s just that the hard parts are soul searching hard, and sometimes it feels daunting and utterly exhausting.
I think that sometimes brilliance is bold and vibrant, like the tree we found this morning. And sometimes, it’s just not. The leaves darken a shade and fall to the earth and a different kind of beauty unfolds. A quiet, radiant tree will stand strong through the long winter. A different shade of brilliant. I think we are each searching for purpose, for a path toward certain ideals, certain qualities. What we seek and what we discover do not always align. We want to find our colors, our boldness, but it’s the dead of winter. So we lay dormant. Waiting for the right time, the right conditions to come forth. We grow weary waiting. We worry that we are missing something, that brilliance has left us behind.
But it hasn’t, because it is everywhere. We just have to fine tune our receptors. Open our heart and mind. I’m finding that these days, brilliance is both boys snuggled close on my lap as we read Llama Llama Red Pajama. Brilliance is closing my eyes and feeling completely relaxed for the last 10 minutes of yoga class. Brilliance is walking downtown to the Farmer’s Market and buying the sweetest cantaloupe I’ve ever tasted. Brilliance is the boys laughing and splashing during bathtime. Until someone pours a cup of water on someone’s head. Then brilliance is overcome by screaming. Thankfully, bedtime is around the corner. And another shade of brilliance begins there.