SGLY: Forgive me

By Tiffany Chartier
Special to the Anna-Melissa Tribune

A potted plant sits on the windowsill overlooking the backyard. This plant has occupied the same corner for so many years that the painted wood upon which it rests is a shade brighter underneath the ceramic pot.

While the sun was busy fading the remainder of the ledge, it was equally busy strengthening the plant. In the routine of doing life, I became accustomed to having my first cup of coffee at the small table near a window that overlooks the backyard. Day-to-day, my eyes pass between and beyond the plant's leaves as I take in the view.

One day last week my view changed. Better put, my focus changed. While enjoying the sight of a small group of birds in the backyard, I became distracted by a piece of fuzz floating across my field of vision. I swatted at it, and it moved out of my reach, hoovering like a dangling carrot. I followed the feathery fluff, watching it until it landed upon the highest leaf of the potted plant.

"My God, you're beautiful," I said aloud, astonished by the unique stature of the plant. The birds on the other side of the window became a blur as I adjusted my focus. "Just beautiful," I whispered, this time as more of a sad confession. "Why haven't I noticed how lovely you've become?"

Years of basking in the sun allowed this plant to spring from bud to bloom. I must have known she was growing. I watered her, after all. I see her every day while I drink coffee. Every. Single. Day. And yet, only this day did "it" seem more like a "she," something living that I sorely missed watching as she grew up.

Her limbs arched and rose with age like the bony bent of an elderly woman's hand. However, her offshoots remained youthful, swirling with the elegance of a spirited ballerina performing for the sun. The higher the leaf, the brighter her green. The light of the early morning exposed her veins, revealing both her delicacy and her strength. She lived with quiet dignity. So quiet, in fact, that she could easily be overlooked.

"Forgive me," I told her. "I have seen you for years, but somewhere along the way, I stopped noticing you."

I rose and tucked my chair underneath the table so I could stand before the plant. Touching my fingers upon her leaves, I lingered upon soft curves that formed into lithe tips. "You are dusty," I stated with an apologetic tone. "I am sorry."

I spent the rest of the day paying attention to what I was seeing and noticing. Sometimes we can get so busy giving our attention to what is less important that we gradually take advantage of what is most important.

Time moves at the same pace regardless of how we experience it – a minute is sixty seconds no matter what your title is, where you live, or the fullness of your calendar. Dust settles and remains upon the unattended, weighing down the very thing you once encouraged to grow.

Neglect is not a loud visitor; it comes slowly and builds like dust, day upon day. People can feel missed standing right in front of you. May we readjust our focus and take notice of the importance of both time and our attention. In doing so, we will truly see and appreciate what is most important.

SGLY, dear reader. (Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.