As I write this column, the view out my window is showcasing a fog that clings to the trees and makes it difficult to see past the other side of the street.
One night this past week, I was driving through the same fog as it captured the light and gave everything a hazy, orange glow.
While I had to continually remind myself that I was operating a vehicle and did not have the liberty of gazing off into space and daydreaming, I was overwhelmed by the beauty around me.
It almost felt like I had been transported back to childhood, experiencing some aspect of the world for the first time.
But this childlike sense of wonder is something that seems to have already subsided for the most part by the time we become teenagers.
At 17-years-old, I still have an awful lot of life left to live (hopefully), and to already be numb to the beauty of the world makes for a bland existence.
In reality, there is much more to appreciate in the world than most of us realize.
The other day, my brother and I stumbled upon what seemed like a mock version of Canada’s wildlife preserves.
Within a few blocks downtown, we saw deer, swans, and a frighteningly large crowd of ducks.
While swans may not be a regular occurrence in your day-to-day life, beauty can come in the simplest forms.
It may be the architecture of the school you enter every day or the way the frost makes your front lawn look.
So why is it that we are so often oblivious to the immense beauty around us? Ironically, it seems like the more we learn about the world, the less we care for it.
We can shrug off those wonderful bright lights that appear in the sky at night as simply being giant spheres of plasma, and we know why that yellow orb seems to move across the sky during the day.
The knowledge mankind has gained about the world is incredible, but sometimes it’s just as valuable to imagine that you know nothing, or that you are seeing something for the first time.
If the tree outside your house suddenly turned bright blue, the shape of it might seem more beautiful than that of the boring, brown trees you’ve seen a million times.
But it’s not just familiarity with the world that can inhibit our ability to perceive beauty.
Often it is the daily demands of life, so strongly dictated by the clock that they don’t allow us to slow down and appreciate the world around us because we’ll be late for school.
But in reality, the benefits, whether immediate or long-term, of taking a moment to enjoy beauty far outweigh the consequences.
While meeting practical needs is an important aspect of life, it is also valuable and healthy to feed our natural appetite for beauty. And often, this doesn’t require a long trek up a mountain, but only a simple glance out the window.