I watched several videos a while ago about a group who had decided to liven up the experience of people going about their normal lives, and remind them of the beauty around them. One of the things they did was to take a set of different sized and shaped empty picture frames into a neighbourhood that would not usually be considered attractive, and give people on the street a frame, with the instruction to find something beautiful they could put the frame round.
When given the task, people looked dubious – they didn’t believe they would find anything. But if they did begin to look, they found all sorts of things: a part of a chair, a pattern in the brickwork of a wall, a wild flower, a child’s face, a shapely foot. They returned their frames with a smile on their faces, and a new appreciation for their surroundings.
Many years ago, I overheard a teacher with a group of students on a school trip say to them: ‘ Go more slowly for a while, and remember to look up, down, and to both sides, as well as straight ahead.’ What a lovely instruction!
When we look more closely, more widely, from a different angle, we may see something lovely that we weren’t expecting, and allow ourselves an extra moment with a smile on our faces.
Try it out for yourself – go slowly and look well, and enjoy what you find.