Have You Ever Stopped to Notice?

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Aren’t wheel barrows glorious? My favorite poem is about a wheel barrow.. sort of. If the length of a poem was any indicator of how intellectual you are, then I suppose I am not very intellectual. The Red Wheel Barrow is only 16 words long. It’s my favorite poem because it is a reminder to me to notice the beauty all around, and to notice the “small” things as blessings in my life.

“The Red Wheel Barrow” by William Carlos Williams

So much depends

upon

The red wheel

barrow

Glazed with rain

water

Beside the white

Chickens

I know, short right? William Carlos Williams is an accomplished poet. And yet at first glance this poem seems so….unpoetic.

But I have always loved this poem. Something about it strikes me to the core. It excites me. You see I have pondered much about its meaning. “So much depends” suggests that there are many blessings that are symbolized by the red wheel barrow sitting outside next to the chickens. It reminds me to stop and notice the blessings I have. This tool that is used for work is worn, is not properly appreciated as it is left outside to get rained on. And yet, so much depends upon it. It is something that is taken for granted, but the poet decided it was important enough to stop and write a shockingly short poem about it.

It’s a reminder to me to remember to pause my life regularly to appreciate things which I typically forget to appreciate. Sadly, we humans can often forget to appreciate the beauty and blessing of things that we have, things we should be appreciating: our children, our home, the trees, the sky, the crisp cool air in the morning, the birds chirping as the sun rises, our coffee (oh wait, we are probably pretty good about appreciating that), our work, forgiveness in Christ.

In John Piper’s article from desiringgod.org entitled, “10 Resolutions for Mental Health” he says the following for resolution number 6, “I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic” existence.”

Let us live today with renewed inspired resolve by remembering to pause and notice the beauty and wonder of the things in our life which we normally take for granted. Remember to notice.

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