Now that the holidays are again upon us, many of us are getting ready to travel and spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with special friends and family. Though invariably the preparation time can seem like work–and even the actual traveling can sometimes pose its share of challenges—we usually feel inspired and renewed after taking a trip.
Taken out of our normal, workaday world, we enter our days with fresh eyes—eyes that can delight in the minute, such as spying a wreath made of bittersweet; and the monumental, such as taking in museums whose holdings include one famous painting after another. Traveling stretches us; to use an analogy, it adds new lines, even new paragraphs, to the unfolding story of our lives.
As we celebrate the virtues of travel, it’s also important to remember
that we don’t have to physically leave our environment to enjoy the fruits of new vistas. We can cultivate our consciousness; we can mindfully choose to take in new sights by actions as simple as taking a new route to work. There is so much life out there—and in our own, personal worlds. As the writer Marcel Proust reminds us, “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
May we consciously support our lives with fresh experiences and sights. May we remember that we don’t need to leave our usual environment to see the new. May we cherish the blessings, and the discoveries, that each new day offers; and may we share our blessings, and discoveries, with others.
—Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon