I go through life wondering about the amount of thought that goes into everything. Sometimes it feels like I am crippled by contemplation. I don’t want to make rash decisions, in fact I sometimes feel afraid to make a decision without giving the decision enough thought. But where does this leave me? How can I keep life flowing and have enough time to sit back and enjoy the contemplation of what is going on around me?
I was reminded of the joy that I find in observing and thinking about everything around me when my wife and I were at Navy Pier this last weekend with my family for my dad and his wife’s 5 year anniversary. We had gone to a concert and afterwards were strolling slowly around the pier and we get to a point by the ferris wheel and the full sensation of the environment begins to set in. If I close my eyes I can almost feel like I am still there…the sensation was that rich. It would have been completely dark outside except for the lights given off by the spokes and ring of the slowly rotating giant wheel. The light was enought to illuminate the families and couples wandering back and forth around the pier. The sounds were pulsing from every direction – the dim sounds of a circus pipe organ playing a bubbling song from near the wheel, the murmur of the crowd from around and below with the staccato sound of laughter breaking through the hum at unpredictable intervals. The sound of boats riding on waves that were splashing along the length of the pier. The smells would change with the movement of the wind and would mix together for moments where a new smell sometimes gently turned into a scent that I had only forgotten about moments before. With the cool breaze on my face the freshness of the lake seemed to completely surround me, but just as soon as I felt a brush of wind from my side the smell of freshly cooked candied pecans would rise up and overpower the freshness brought in off the lake. As we moved around the pier each moment of walking would bring with it a continuing growing and fading of experiences that seemed to slowly fade into one another until each individual experience became what it is like to be at navy pier.
This is what I like about life. I have to believe that there is more that can be gained from an experience if I can only take a second to become aware of what makes up the experience.