Last week I was feeling a little sorry for myself–bad enough that it was bitter cold and grey outside, I was stuck inside gulping tea and antibiotics courtesy of a bad case of strep throat. But in a stroke of fortuitous timing, just as the gloom was beginning to feel never-ending, the red amaryllis bulb that I had forced into bloom began to show its beautiful petals.
In the height of summer, one red flower is not terribly notable as the world is filled with bright, colorful flora. But in the dead of winter, all by itself, it is dazzling against the background of oppressive grey cold.
The other day, a friend shared a quote from the Jewish philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel that speaks to the experience of delight that I found in this singular red flower,
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement… to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.
As we go through our days, every now and again we will see something out of the ordinary that evokes such amazement, but perhaps what is really amazing is when we find that appreciation of the extraordinary in that which, in a different context, would seem quite ordinary.