Taking a Closer Look

I do it all the time. I hurry along, busy with daily trivia, looking at things as I go but not really seeing them. I’m physically there, but not focused on my surroundings. You know how it is when you glance at something and later can’t remember what it looked like?

Fifteen years ago our family holidayed on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). While there we celebrated my birthday, and my eight-year-old granddaughter gave me a jar of pebbles collected on a beach below Tow Hill near the northern tip of Graham Island. The jar had also been filled with water because only when they were wet did the rocks display their hidden beauty. For me it was a priceless gift.

That jar of rocks still sits on my china cabinet shelf, and it still has a trace of the original water in it. The rocks glisten with the residue of condensation. I treasure this simple gift because of the giver’s loving heart, but also because those rocks are a constant reminder of the beauty all around me that too often goes unnoticed.

I’m not much of a photographer but am forever snapping photos, often without looking beyond the lens to see the miracle of detail. How often have I captured the picture of a gurgling stream or lakeside vista without stooping to discover the treasures at my feet? How often have I bypassed ordinary rocks without washing off the dust to reveal their true beauty?


While we’re rushing through life we miss living.


Slow Me Down Lord

(Wilferd Arlan Peterson)


Slow me down, Lord!

Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.

Steady my harried pace
with a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me,
amidst the confusions of my day,

The calmness of the everlasting hills.


Break the tensions of my nerves

With the soothing music of the singing streams

That live in my memory.

Help me to know
the magical power of sleep.


Teach me the art
of taking minute vacations,

Of slowing down

To look at a flower;

To chat with an old friend or make a new one;

To pat a stray dog;

To watch a spider build a web;

To smile at a child;

Or to read a few lines from a good book.


Remind me each day
that the race is not always to the swift;

That there is more to life than increasing its speed.


Let me look upward
into the branches of the towering oak

And know that it grew great and strong

Because it grew slowly and well.


Slow me down, Lord,

And inspire me to send my roots deep

Into the soil of life’s enduring values

That I may grow toward the stars
of my greater destiny.




Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

5 thoughts on “Taking a Closer Look

  1. A lovely post by a lovely lady. Thank you, Carol. Words cannot adequate express my admiration for these simple reminders you give so often. True blessings.

  2. Thanks for your responses. I’m not sure why the jar of rocks came to mind when it did. It may have been the rock photos that did it. Both my granddaughter (a grown woman now) and her mother are great at seeing and photographing details. I wish I had their knack. (I’ve imbedded links to their Flickr pages.)

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