“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
Following from my post Thorns Have Roses, today I am contemplating this quote by Einstein. I find it inspiring! The words themselves have meaning but I also find the fact that such a scientific man said them to be very astounding. I always associate Einstein with his work in mathematics. For some reason that mental image doesn’t include a version of the man taking time out to enjoy the world around him, to enjoy life. Perhaps it is because I once heard he only ever bought 1 suit, 1 shirt, 1 tie, 1 pair of shoes … he had a wardrobe full of them but they were all exactly the same colour, cut, etc. I heard this was so he did not have to “think” about getting dressed – it was his way of eliminating one more distraction. Logically it makes sense to me but I like variety far too much to ever do it myself. Hmmm … logic, yes that is what I think of when I hear the name Einstein. Logic and miracles don’t seem to go together do they?
I myself am far from perfect – I’m the first to admit that. I have masses of skeletons in the proverbial closet – I suspect have skeletons in there that have consumed other skeletons just to survive. But I do try my best to be well-rounded, astute, caring, considerate and to see the positives in everything.
Reflecting on Einstein’s quote, I believe the concept of everything is a miracle is one of the reasons I like gardening so much. Each plant is a little miracle all on its own. To plant a seed and see it grow is amazing. To watch a tree shed all its leaves then regrow them is phenomenal. To observe a little blossom transform into a fruit is simply miraculous.
But we need not be limited to horticulture to be astounded by the world around us. I once bought a real tree for Xmas and once home found that it contained an empty birds’ nest. I thought it was incredible! Some little bird (it was a small nest) had constructed this thing without any tools and it had survived … it was still intact even after the tree was felled, lugged to a wrapping machine, then to a truck, transported who knows how far then unloaded, placed amongst loads of other trees for sale, lugged some more to get it in my car, driven home and brought into the house before being sat in a stand and unwrapped. Wow! Could any man make such an extraordinary thing using only his hands?
Something else I once read always reminds me of miracles. It was about coffee. Look at your cup of coffee (or tea) right now and think about it. I mean really think about how the contents of that cup came to be in your hands. Okay you bought a packet or jar of the stuff but go beyond. Consider the trail all the way back to the little seeding that was placed into the ground to grow. All the people, the technology, the little miracles of life that ??? together so you could drink that coffee. Taste it. Don’t just drink it, but instead experience it. Try to use all of your senses as you take a drink from that cup. Look at its colour, smell the aroma, feel the steam on your face as you bring the cup to your mouth, imagine the sounds those granules heard through their journey (the factory, the trucks, the people in the fields gathering, the rain), then finally taste it as you take a drink. Isn’t that a little miracle?
Basically, I’m with Einstein on this one. You can go through life dismayed by not experiencing huge, Earth-shattering miracles. I doubt you’ll ever find happiness if you do. Or you can experience all the miracles of life and enjoy each one. If you can do this just a little bit, I believe the world will seem like such a magnificent place. Happiness will come naturally and often as you appreciate everything life has to offer.