Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Moment With New Eyes

I've heard so many people describe that first morning. And now it was my turn. I woke up. I opened my eyes. I could see the detail of the drawer pulls on my dresser across the room. I turned to look at the clock on my husband's night stand. I could read what time it was. It was 4:07 a.m.

I could see.

For people who have been near-sighted for any length of time, you understand that extra step that is necessary to begin any real functionality every morning. Whether it is reaching for the glasses on the night stand or going into the bathroom to put in contacts. There's an extra step just to be able to do anything. Sometimes, due to laziness or necessity, you do things blindly - navigating through the room or the house without running into walls or furniture, distinguishing by touch toothpaste tubes from lotions or ointments that might also be laying on the counter. I identify approaching people by their walk rather than their faces. Even my kids knew the routine. My youngest had been waking me up by laying my glasses on my chest in the morning.

And thank goodness for this extra step. The fact that there are such aids available is amazing and necessary and not to be taken for granted. But not being able to see more than 1 foot in front of me without these aids, is a bit scary.

Modern technology is amazing. It's been 1 month since my LASIK procedure, and I am seeing the world with new eyes. There's a sense of awe every time I wake up and can just... begin. No extra steps. Just open my eyes and go.  Trees are more beautiful, flowers are more intricate, clouds are fluffier, my girls' eyes are brighter. Not because I can see better, but because I am constantly amazed that I can see with just my eyes alone. It's life-changing.

Some might think I'm being over-dramatic in my exuberance in this now-common surgery. But for me, having worn glasses for nearly 30 years and contacts for nearly 20, this is magical.

In the midst of my gratitude for this miracle (in my mind) and gift of sight, I'm aware that ultimately nothing around me has changed. It's how I'm absorbing those things that has changed. I am in the moment. I am soaking in my surroundings as they appear, rather than thinking 5 or 10 or 60 minutes ahead to where I need to be next, what needs to happen next.

How do I keep this current state of awe? How do I nurture this sense of gratitude for the things that I can see? I suppose that is something that a morning cup of tea can be, and often is, for me. The ritual of being present, of seeing what is in front of me, right here, right now.

In this New Year, what are you looking at with new eyes or new awareness? And how will you keep that newness alive. I'd love to learn from you.

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