The Practice of Noticing (or, The Color Purple)

Some visitors come to Virginia from Australia. Their first morning, they look out the window and scramble over each other to grab their cameras and run outside. “Oh my goodness! What is it? It’s so precious!”

They run into the front yard to take dozens of pictures of a squirrel.


The first time I visited Minnesota in the summer, the sight of enormous fields of canola and flax in bloom made my heart open. Acres and acres of rich, vibrant yellow and oceans of deep blue. It took my breath away. I said to my sister-in-law (who has lived there her whole life and farmed those fields with her husband), “The fields are astonishingly beautiful.” She looked a little surprised and said, “Huh. I guess they are pretty, aren’t they?”


My husband does much of the laundry at our house. Every time, he carefully hangs my dance clothes on the rack and folds my socks just as I like them. And when he brings me the piles of freshly laundered love, I do my best to always, always say, “Thank you so much for doing that.” And he thanks me every morning for the bowl of granola that I’ve made him for years and years.


What do you notice? What have you seen so many times that you don’t notice? What do you notice that others don’t? What if what you notice is your life?

Noticing is a physical practice.
Noticing is a creative practice.
Noticing is a spiritual practice.

Don’t piss God off. Notice.

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4 comments
  1. Marion Robbins said:

    Susan, this is a KEEPER! The smallest flowers rejoice in being noticed. My seeetie husband is a non-noticer; this is such a good reminder for him! Thank you for you…💕

    • I think we’re all non-noticers sometimes. Especially when we’re busy with a full life (like your sweetie husband) or stressed in any way. So it’s a good reminder for all of us. Love to you both. xoxo

  2. Liz Sloan said:

    Beautifully said.

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