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An Extraordinary World

I am reading a book called The Radical Christian Life by Joan Chittister. A line that stood out was “spend our time well, to contemplate the divine in the human, to treat everything in the world as sacred. We need the wisdom of stewardship.” I recalled the Buddhist concept of the extraordinary explained by Thich Nhat Hanh. A story he recounted was about an oak tree at Plum Village. Attendees stop and literally become tree huggers as they hug that tree and admire its splendour. With small actions, humans move from seeing themselves as part of the world not separate and superior to the world we share with all of Creation. There are things and times I take for granted.

We regularly drive the Yellowhead Highway between Prince George and Edmonton. Recently, I realized it is extraordinary. Each trip we pass Mount Robson. Sometimes it is shrouded in clouds. Other times, it looks like this. It is always spectacular.

We observe wildlife: bear, elk, deer, goats, bald eagle etc. Last summer, I took a picture of two black bear feeding along the side of the road. They seemed quite unaware of my presence.

We took a picture of an Inukshuk in Jasper National Park. An Inukshuk is an Inuit symbol reminding us others were there before or that we are on the right path. It is an excellent reminder of the need to stop, reflect on the world, and take stock of our role in the world. It is an extraordinary place.

I was reminded of the extraordinary nature of the world as I read Malou’s blog entry. She wrote about tulips in Holland. Tulips might seem ordinary to people who see them everyday just like driving through the Rocky Mountains has been to me. When I mindfully, attentively observe the world and become aware of it, its breathtaking beauty is readily revealed.

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