It's been raining here for days. Actually, even for Davis, this has been an unusually wet, chilly winter--which I suppose fits in well with the extreme cold and snow the rest of the country seems to be having. I don't mind the grey at all, but on a walk with the dogs the other day, I was struck by the contrast between the seemingly dull, grey day, and the intense color that's actually hidden everywhere in plain sight.
I'm a fan of this--having to look a little harder to find things that are right there, under the surface. One summer years ago, I was a camp counselor for a day camp run by the 92nd Street Y, in New York City, and I used to play a game with my kids in which I made them close their eyes and listen--really listen--and count the sounds they heard. They were always surprised at just how many things they could hear when they stopped assuming they heard nothing and really began to listen.
Aside from shifting my perspective about what I'm really seeing or hearing, a game like this can really shift my perspective about my location. Yesterday, I spent an hour taking photographs in what, on the surface of things, is just a suburban park/neighborhood. Looked at the way I usually look at things, it's not the most thrilling place in the world--it's hyper manicured and managed; it's hardly a rich wilderness. But it has its own little secrets worth discovering, and taking some time to discover them was a pretty nice way to begin the year.