Nothing is different
But everything has changed.
That’s a line from a Paul Simon song. And it’s the way I felt when I stepped foot off the plane in L.A. after a summer spent in Taiwan, when I looked at my husband the morning after our wedding, or when I watched the sky outside the window of my hospital room after my son was born. My homeland, my husband’s face, the sky – they were the same as every other day, but they appeared completely new. There were things I’d missed before. New meanings to the familiar American landscape, the corners of Marc’s mouth when he smiled, the sunlight warming the clouds with pinks and reds. Experiences can make that magic. Cause us to view old things with new eyes. Something deep in the soul changes – it sends a message to the brain: “Whoa! Everything is new! This is amazing!” And the whole body responds. It feels more alive, more awake, superhumanly able to appreciate. To see with more clarity than before.
I thought it would be fun to gather a list of experiences like this from you, the readers of my blog. I love a good list, and I bet you all have some neat eye-openers to share. The great thing is, as in all stories, everyone can relate. By reading about another person’s experience we are reminded of one of our own, reminded that we’re all in this together. So leave a comment below, long or short or however you like, and let us know about a time when nothing was different but everything had changed. Let’s see what we get…
Here. I’ll start.
It was just before my junior year in college, I was at a summer training program in Colorado Springs with students from all over the country, along with my friend and only fellow-Jayhawk Marc. I had just sent a letter to my best friend swearing off boys for the forseeable future, as they proved to consume and confuse my thoughts and I was ready for a break. Then I left for a hike with the close group of five other friends I’d made over the two months. Three guys and three girls, hiking up a canyon, talking, laughing, crossing back and forth over the stream that ran down the mountain. At times one of the guys would reach out a hand to help me across the merely ankle-deep water, which should have impressed me as an act of chivalry, but instead annoyed me as a sexist view of my capabilities. I didn’t need no stinkin’ man’s hand to cross a stream. Until I did. I was about to slip off a rock, so the guy in front of me reached to help. I took it, looked up, and everything changed. True story. It sounds corny, and it is. But that is how the letter to my best friend became null and void, and how I started my deep fall into love with Marc, the man I (much later) married. He suddenly nearly glowed, I adored him so. He had no such reaction to my hand in his, but for me it was magic.
There, now you go…