We travel around the world in search of new experiences and mind-expanding adventures. I do it, as much as I can, and I love it. But sometimes there are instances when I wonder if it’s really worth it – in terms of cost, both financial and ecological. One of those times was about a month ago, when I was visiting a friend who lives close to where I grew up. I was walking past the chicken enclosure, looking at the hens eating snow and talking to each other. For a moment, I lifted my eyes and saw the small icicles that had formed on the edge of the tin roof – and there it was. The most beautiful, intricate, life-like shapes I had ever seen hanging off a roof. In that same instant, I realized that the reason it was the first time was probably only because I hadn’t looked well enough during the thirty years of my existence on this planet.
Fireworks? Algae? Or air trapped in frozen water.
It got me thinking, what if we can have equally fulfilling experiences and learn just as much about the world just by being more attentive? What if we could be satisfied with staring at water dripping into a pond in a nearby forest instead of getting on a plane so we can stand by the Victoria falls, or if we could enjoy lying on our backs, closing our eyes and listening to the sounds of life as much as we enjoy climbing a high mountain?
Now, I’m not saying I’m capable of that. A couple of weeks after I found these little marvels hanging off of my friend’s tin roof, I flew back to Morocco where I’m living purely to experience and learn. I have friends in many parts of the world, and most of the time I wish I could travel more, not less. But perhaps pondering the marvels of those modest, yet wondrous, icicles, made me appreciate the little, mundane things a bit more. Maybe they were the key to a world that’s been hidden in plain sight.
To my eye, the shapes all seemed surprisingly organic – what do you see?