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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Help With Seeing

Over our forty-three years together, what I'm most grateful for in my wife has frequently shifted. I'm confident saying this is probably true for most people in long-term relationships.

Lately, I've grown to be most grateful for her visual sense of the world. Each time we walk together, but especially when we are hiking, her attention to the surroundings grounds me in the here and now. This may not seem like much to some of you but to this goal-driven, perpetually distracted, auditorily-oriented blogger it is huge. If not for her, the visual wonders of the physical world could easily escape my notice. 

I'm not uninterested in the things right in front of me. When my wife takes the time to point out a flower or tree, linger at a beautiful spot just because, or explain  - for the tenth time - the difference between lichen and fungi, I listen attentively. I try to be fully present and retain what she's teaching me. And though I'm aware in the moment of the gifts I'm receiving, my monkey mind still gets the better of me more often than not. How many steps have I taken so far? When will I get in some guitar time today? What was that song fragment or idea for a blog post or nascent essay kernel I had right before she spotted that pileated woodpecker and pointed it out to me? 

If you are in a long-term relationship, what are you most recently grateful for in your partner? Who gives you the most help seeing the ever-present, astonishing wonders of the world? Most important question for me: What is your most effective strategy for putting goals aside long enough to take in those wonders?    


  1. Thank you! I'm so grateful that you are always willing to go for a walk in the woods!

  2. How sweet! I am the one more likely to point out visual things. My husband reads a lot of newspapers and magazines and shares the most interesting articles with me. It is nice to have someone to share with and who shares with me.

    1. Ines; Thanks for the comment. Sometime we'll compare notes about what differences you've observed in the way you & your husband take in information - visual vs. auditory vs. kinesthetic. I have several telling anecdotes that might amuse you in this respect re the difference between my wife and I

    2. Ha, ha. The difference between my wife and me!

  3. Hello Pat. I hope this finds you and your family doing well.
    Interestingly enough, I'm usually the one that is pointing out the different things along our walks. And only recently have they started to become 'our' walks as opposed to just 'my' walks. We both walk, but until recently they were done separately. And the only reason for that is because I'm such a morning person and my wife is not. I used to go for 80-90 minute walks starting at 7:30 or 8 AM and reach my 10,000 step goal by the time I was finished. Any steps after that were bonus in my mind. At my peak I was doing upwards of 90,000-1000,000 steps a week and 40 miles or so. Unfortunately I've not been able to match that but do plan on getting back to that soon. Anyway, my very long way of getting to the point I was attempting to make is that as I would be taking my morning walks I was seeing everything before she would. Sort of a sneak preview.
    As for what I am most grateful for ... Just being ale to do things with her. Both of are retired now and have the opportunity to do much more. Of course, with all of the running around we do sometimes wonder how we ever had time to work - lol. But now that things are starting to open up again - thankfully - I'm hoping to do more.
    Be well ...

    1. Bob; Thanks for the comment. Aren't you & I (and Ines above) all so fortunate to have partners that share our lives? Good luck getting back to 90,000 - 100,000 steps a week. If you're already doing a fairly regular 10,000 a day, you're well within reach.