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I See You, Nose.

Mike and the boys did not hesitate to tease me the other night at dinner, when I pitched this blog post idea to them. But I'm going to write it anyway, because I think it might be a balance between fun and meaningful, at this time of gratitude and thanks giving.

And it's about our noses.

We all have one. It's located in about the same spot on all of our faces, just south of our eyes and a bit north of our mouth. Right there, in the middle - doing its olfactory thing day and night. Providing sensory information to our brains about how the world smells, or how food and drinks might taste.

Just follow your nose!

Keep your nose to the grindstone.

And here's the thing I find most interesting: many of us can see our noses all the time. It's right there. If we just take a minute to glance down once in a while (maybe a little cross-eyed for some), we would notice it. Maybe even mutter a little "Hey, thanks for everything, little buddy" under our breath from time to time, to show a little appreciation.

But how do we carry on, day in and day out, not realizing it's there? Shouldn't we be in constant awe that we have this nose at all? Not to mention this tongue, these lips, fingers, toes, knee caps, elbows, spinal chord, brain and heart? I mean, geeze! We have an entire system in constant interplay to keep us alive and experiencing the world. And our noses, quite often, are the first ones out there - ahead of the rest of our being. The brave heroes!

Plain and simple, we take them for granted. Which got me thinking: what else have we gotten so used to, we no longer pay it any mind? What might we take some time to slow down and appreciate, even if just for one tiny moment?

One. Tiny. Moment.

As part of their weekly writing lesson, Quinn's first grade teacher has the class work on a series called "My Small Moments." She has the kids to write and illustrate about a memorable Moment they've experienced recently - a trip to the zoo, baking cookies with grandma. Or in Quinn's case, a snowball fight with the family (check it out below - it's pretty great.)

Anyway, what an amazing idea. Small Moments abound! And they are so deserving of our attention and our thanks. Not just now, during the holiday season, but all the time.

So let's not walk beneath the Redwoods without looking up, or forget the blessing of clean air and water. Let's not hurry past the clerk at the grocery store, our mailmen, the woman waiting alone at the bus stop. Let's make each other feel seen and heard and valued.

We'll be unstoppable with our gratitude - all year long. A force to be reckoned with. With intention, yes, but also with casual grace; a compliment to a stranger, a smile with your in-laws. Or just bearing witness to someone who seems in hiding.

Life has no shortage of Small Moments. They're easy to see when we look around. Most often, they're right in front of our nose.

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