As I was taking a break from work the other day, a woman stopped near her car and watched me curiously. She asked what I was doing, and when I told her I was picking up rocks, she seemed skeptical. But I encouraged her to try it with me, and soon we were both having a good time searching for interesting stones.
As children, we are often drawn to the natural world around us, delighting in the small wonders we find there. But as we grow older, we can lose touch with that sense of curiosity and wonder. Sometimes it takes a simple activity like picking up rocks to remind us of the joy that can be found in unexpected places.
As we sifted through the rocks, discarding some and keeping others, we bonded over our shared appreciation of beauty. We pointed out the ones we thought were particularly interesting or pretty, and debated over which ones needed to “try harder” to catch our attention. In this way, we were able to connect with each other in a way that we might not have otherwise.
At the end of our little game, the woman thanked me and went on her way. But before she left, I noticed a change in her demeanor. Her initial skepticism had given way to a sense of childlike wonder, and she seemed genuinely grateful for the opportunity to play and connect with another person.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of life and forget to take a moment to appreciate the world around us. But as my encounter with the woman reminded me, sometimes all it takes is a small act of curiosity and a willingness to connect with others to remind us of the beauty and wonder that exists all around us.
So the next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment to look around you. Who knows what small wonders you might find if you’re willing to take a closer look. And who knows what connections you might make if you’re willing to share your discoveries with others.