You are hiking a familiar trail.  The path is crowded by dull-coloured bracken and surrounded by tall tufts of dried grass.  Then you hear it, a gentle thrum of feathers and a whirring so soft and low you didn’t notice it until it was almost under your feet.  And as you look in the direction of that gentle noise, there is a burst of colourful fluttering that makes you jump, almost out of your skin.  All your senses come alive to the pheasant taking flight from under the brush, it’s plumage now spreading the glory of colour across your vision as it takes wing and flies.  And as it lifts into the air above you, your eyes lift too, away from the seemingly dull path you were trodding so dutifully only a moment ago, to see that a beautiful panorama has opened before you – a vista of blue mountains, trees of various shades of green.  And how could you not have seen before that there are wild flowers sprinkling the hillside with flecks of pink, purple, white, blue, yellow.  A beautiful life is happening all around you, and as the pheasant soars towards the clouds drifting in a deep blue sky (was it really that blue a moment ago?), your heart soars with it.

Have you ever been startled by beauty? That moment as you were just plodding along, head down, your mind occupied with meeting the demands of day-to-day life, when suddenly something begs to be noticed, catches your attention. You glance in the direction of some noise, a glimmer of light, flash of colour. Your breath catches and you stop, and you are suddenly aware that something intensely wonderful and beautiful is right there, tucked amongst the ordinary landscape. It seemed to be so regular a part of your daily routine that you almost passed it by, oblivious to it because you ceased to be aware of your surroundings. And in that moment, you experience an awakening that changes your perspective about the here-and-now, and maybe it stays with you all day and you find yourself taking a new approach to old familiar tasks and problems. Maybe you even become inspired to dream of other forgotten beautiful moments, and you start to envision making creative changes that could lead you to an altogether different way of life.

Hear the thrumming, the soft drumming that summons you to listen.  Tune your ears to the beat of a life that is waiting for you to give it your attention.  Maybe it starts with small reminders sprinkled through your workaday world.  A pheasant feather tucked into your pocket.  A photograph, postcard or painting on display near your desk.  A phone call to someone special.  A pretty momento added to your table setting.  A favourite story or book of poems waiting on your bedside table.  A new pillow, introducing a vibrant new colour to a worn, familiar sofa.  A favourite song during your commute.  The sparkle of a jewel as your hands move across the keyboard.  A fresh scent.  The adornment of a beautiful necktie or scarf.  Not ordering “the usual” at lunch.  And suddenly you are dreaming, but you’ve never felt more awake.  You start to imagine that new world – the remodelled room, the made-over you, a new work environment.  You think about making that moment of beauty into something more…  a beautiful life.