Some of you reading this will begin to chuckle, as you know where this is heading. You see, a few weeks ago, after my sister’s dog, Cleo, rumbled in a yard where there was a propensity of fleas, I became ‘host B’ to those that jumped from Cleo to me as I bathed her. It goes without saying, I had never had fleas before; and no, I don’t want them again!
Then, over the weekend, I was reading a fabulous book, Life is a Verb, where the author Patti Digh wrote a little diddy entitled ‘Consider the Flea.’ What are the odds?! In her story, Patti highlights a seventeenth-century Dutch microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. Leeuwenhoek viewed everything, as no one had before him, through a truly new set of lenses. When he saw a flea for the first time at such magnification, he became aware of an undeniably intricate, complex creative with its own unique beauty! The flea (!) complex, not simple, and worthy of attention – not just a pesky pest.
It made me stop cold; not that I am going to embrace fleas any time soon, if ever. Yet, her point is spot on: what if we reserved as much awe for the intricate little things around us, as we do for the supernatural events and things – like bald eagles, lunar eclipses, and albino tigers? What if we focused this awe and attention on each other? What if we looked deeply inside each other and appreciated the beauty and complexity within each of us? We are certainly as magnificent as fleas – and we don’t need a microscope to see each other. We really only need to open our eyes and open our hearts.