It was a beautiful day – warm in the shade and when the sun caught your skin, heat radiated off its surface. A Wednesday afternoon, but Disneyland was in full swing. The hustle and bustle filled my ears. We wandered from ride to attraction to novelty food car (souvenir cup only $7.50). Just past the petting zoo and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the path led us toward Fantasyland. Before our arrival, I noticed a trail of popcorn shards littered about – some innocent soul, bleeding kernels blissfully unaware of the hole in the bottom of their cup. A cast member with pail and broom (no doubt neglecting his duty) missed the opportunity to show her worth to the conglomeration and it’s mousey little friend.
Stumbling along, I find two small frames in mid-step. Smack dab in the middle of the path I see sisters 3-6 years of age squatting Sacajawea style. They are blocking my view. What are they looking at? Some entrancingly mysterious object. Something that they are studying with religious fervor. Coming to a complete halt I lean closer, not wanting to intrude or violate this moment of sheer innocence or tribal ceremony.
With the noise of elated passengers on the nearby runaway train and pettable friendly goats bleating I strain awkwardly to see while attempting to show everyone I’m not interested. I see it. A small popcorn shard lying flat, unmoving, having been trampled by shuffling crowds without prejudice.
Now it is a person of interest – an item with it’s own primordial existence – a miniature snowball – an alien life form – a feast for ants – a secret – a story. Sun-scorched fairy wings scraping the pungent smelling pavement, two girls – a fairy and a princess stopped me in my tracks. While my legs kept moving, my heart froze. How can a flattened piece of popcorn trash be so captivating? Lying there lifeless between live goats and roller coasters and costumed heroes from our fantasies.
As the crowd pulls me along – off to the next attraction, I wonder if I taste life like a fairy or a princess (no comment necessary)? Do I have it in me to stop and see the mystery of whatever I find mysterious? Too often, I choose to shuffle along with the crowds, trampling beauty and novelty and simplicity flat.
We don’t need to stop and pick up every leaf or jump over every crack (or break your mother’s back). We don’t have to use cumbersome language to describe the fluttery winsome hot chocolate colored beauty of the cagey yet fixating movements of the sparrow outside our window.
But possibly we need to stop…s-l-o-w – d-o-w-n…and soak in the beauty and simplicity of life. A glass of wine, a laugh, a glance, a smile, a tickle fight, a prayer, a word, a kiss…a tired and trampled popcorn shard.
Don’t miss the chance to mystery today. As the psalmist simply says, “Your beauty and love chase after me everyday.” Psalm 23:6 MSG