the entryway to my house is made up of a marble flooring, variously shaped pieces held together by a black grout. as a kid, wearing my chiefs sweatpants i used to slide on my knees across this floor, making diving catches of my white and red rubber chiefs football. i also used to throw a bouncy ball off this floor and let it bounce high around all the walls, hoping to avoid hitting the hanging glass light. that didn't last very long, mostly because of the many marks on the white walls. such a small, inconsequential room--only a hallway really. yet it holds so much.
i was standing just outside that room a moment ago, staring at the floor and trying to remember something. and then i saw the shapes. it's been a long time since i looked at that floor closely. and i suddenly remembered how i used to really look at it. why you may ask? no i wasn't a distant child, entertained by balls of twine and rubber bands. there are really interesting shapes, mostly because a lot of them look like the shapes of the states. i used to make it a game how many of the fifty states i could find. i don't remember how many i came up with ultimately. but right in the center of the room dead on is nebraska right underneath minnesota. not geographically accurate i know, but that's not the point. it looks just like them. i'm not making shapes in the clouds here.
i walk over that floor all the time. maybe you've walked over it even. have you ever noticed nebraska and minnesota? i haven't in at least 10 years i'm sure. and it just got me thinking about the things you notice as a kid, forced to find some sort of interest because the conversations and entertaining distractions do not hold their power over you for very long. i've never been a very observant person, even as a kid probably. but in those little shapes i see the playfulness and attention that fades so quickly when we have so much to do.
so now i'm reminded, and at least for a few days, maybe even a few hours i'll be thinking about what else i should be noticing.