Monday, July 2, 2012

month of beauty: noticing

Noticing: the act of paying attention.

Noticing: Minding: Seeing: Hearing: Feeling: Relishing: Loving.


How my pancake mix today seems extra creamy. I bought almond meal in bulk; it's so pale and perfect. I beat it into the egg replacer and it gets all frothy, then slowly I work in the gluten free flour, the oat and soy and rice milk. The pancakes come out like clouds, fluffy and bright.

How the dog needs a wash. He looks at me with his eyebrows raised, then goes to the water bowl. He slurps and slobbers up the water, leaving drops everywhere. The cat comes to the bowl next. Unacceptable! He paws and paws at the bowl until one of us gets up to replace the water. He leans over. Laps at the surface like a princess.

How my girl and my boy and their sleepover friend are still friends, after all these years, even after we left school three years ago, and she stayed. How these kids laugh until they are bent over, until my daughter is staggering with laughter, until I'm laughing too, tears in my eyes.

How my son is a born teacher. My kids have created a circus: Cirque Des Mittaines. Our sleepover friend signs a contract: she is now a full member and gets to learn with the Master! (My son). Juggling first, then diabolos, then juggling again. They practice for over an hour. He patiently stands by and suggests. "Your hands," he says, "they need to be a little further forward. You're doing well."

How the wind feels on the dunes. Here we are, me cross-legged on the sand, watching how the waves curl. Kids building a den with driftwood and bits of bush, all of them climbing, tumbling, working, finding, organising, together, so happy together. I've wrapped my head with my scarf and imagine I look like an old gypsy grandmother. The kids call. "Come see! Come see!" Their den looks amazing. You can actually crawl inside and curl up to sleep.

How delicious the vege rolls taste from the sushi shop. We've gotten hungry out there in the sun and wind and sand. We gobble our lunch on the movie theatre benches, waiting for the doors to open. It's Ice Age 4. We have high hopes—we love the whole series. We love Buck best, the kids and I agree, from movie No. 3. We marvel at the boxes of popcorn, the size of those soft drink cups. We drip soy sauce from those little soy fish containers onto our rolls, one drop at a time.

How fun it is to sit in the darkened theatre, looking across to see the kids laughing, how caught up we are. How much I love to sit in movie theatres. How much I love to be swept up by a film, held inside it like I'm in a snow globe. Only released when the lights go up, and even then, I'm still dancing inside the story, still delighted.

How good our nachos dinner tastes after a day out and a day of adventure.

How our sleepover friend is sleeping over for another night! I love that she is here, and how happy she makes us all.

How the cat feels on my lap, one warm circle.

How the juggling balls sound as they thwap to the floor: my husband practicing in the living room behind me. He starts circus lessons with the kids next term. They are beside themselves with excitement.

How the dishwasher sounds: swooshing in a steady rhythm.

How calm and fine I feel.

How beautiful it is,

to pay attention.


  1. How beautiful THIS is, to hear your words with only happiness and peace and gratitude and love within them.... I am thrilled for you that you are finding the joy and embracing it.

  2. I love this Helena and I think 'paying attention' is SO important. Most of us just rush from this thing to that thing and miss the truly beautiful moments. You never do always manage to capture the beauty that is made up of moments. How I would love to stand on that beach with you and your children and

    Hugs and love.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.