This morning as I was waiting for my coffee to brew I took to looking at various photos and artwork that we have tacked up around–on the refrigerator and cabinet doors. Most of what’s up has been there for years. There’s the “It’s a girl” we put up when Leah was born 5 years ago, one of Omni with her dad on a field trip to Chaney’s Dairy, one of Ken and me taken back in 1998, I’m guessing. And there’s this, a drawing Omni made for me last year. I have loved this drawing and looked at it many times, but today was the first time I noticed the word “find” over on the left side.
As you can see, this is a welcome back sign my granddaughter made for me. Where had I gone? How long was I absent? The answer is shopping, and about an hour. This morning because I discovered the word “find” and now see a new dimension of the work of art. It’s not just a pretty design with flowers and bright colors. It’s also a puzzle. Who will be the first to find the two “I love yous”?

And now that I look even closer I see there are actually 3 “I love yous”–one vertically down the center in the middle of a red ziggly-jiggly, one above the G of “Grandma,” and of course one along the bottom, with “find.”

Our friend Tsering would say that this is a most auspicious way to begin the morning. It would do no good to say, “Today we are to discover something we have not noticed before,” because once it’s a rule and we go off with our magnifying glass as if it were a scavenger hunt, then it’s not really a discovery, but more of an uncovering, a revealing of what’s there. For it to be a true discovery, we have to stop looking for it to be so, and just look. Or listen. And the more everyday the listening and looking are, the more likely discovery will happen. Part of the joy of discovery (as opposed to uncovering) is the story that snaps to.

In this case, the story has many chapters and scenes–in fact, Omni has written a fair number of stories on pieces of paper that are folded and stapled. “The Mean Teacher” is one I recall, and another about a girl with no parents who went off on a quest, meeting strange creatures and no small amount of danger along the way. But our story goes back to 2004. We have a pictures of her (and her cousins) around the house, and I remember this one of the first time Ken and I saw her together, when her mother, who we knew a whole lot less well than we do now, let us take her out for a couple of hours. We went to a park in Daytona Beach and she examined the bolts on the picnic table. Even as a little tyke, she exuded her trademark intelligence, curiosity, trust, and beauty.

Some rules are good, however, and I think we might be a better people if we did more drawings for people we care about, cards with “find ‘i love you’ two times.”

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