The practice of paying attention is the rarest of gifts because it depends upon the harshest of disciplines. So uncommon is it for us to grasp the beauty and mystery of ordinary things that, when we finally do so, it often brings us to the verge of tears. Appalled by our own poverty, we awake in wonder to a splendor of which we had never dreamed.

~ from THE SOLACE OF FIERCE LANDSCAPES by Belden C. Lane, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles