I’ve been working at my present job for over 13 years, I’ve been through the main gates thousands of times, I’ve been out to open them in the morning a couple of times a week, I’ve sat ten feet away from them (albeit facing the other way) every working day. So why is that it has taken me so long to realise that all the fancy finials on the gate posts weren’t ‘just’ foliage? I happened to look up as I was opening the gate this morning to see this character:
I was completely dumbfounded for a moment. I still am a little bit. How on earth have I missed him? Of course he’s the lion rampart from the Macclesfield coat of arms, holding a wheatsheaf or garb, which is one of Cheshire’s most famous symbols. His image is still about on the local football team’s badge (founded 1874) and the Macclesfield Canal company’s seal (1826) although for some reason the stonemason seems to have reproduced him reversed. I immediately began looking at the other carvings, truth to be told I was hoping to find his companion the stag. There are four finials on each of the four pillars – and I found another four unusual ones.
There is a dragon:
A very damaged owl:
And a fox/dog/cat flushing a bird off it’s nest:
The fourth one was impossible to photo this morning because of the light, and it has poured down the rest of the day so I will have to have a go at that tomorrow.Unfortunately some have suffered very badly from the carelessness of lorry drivers scraping through, or trying to use our wide entrance to reverse into to turn around. Whilst I’ve been working here the gates and gateposts have been knocked over twice. One time saw us chasing the wagon up the road because the berk driving hadn’t even realised what he’d done.
I spent the rest of the day in a bit of a daze. It was the sort of feeling you get when the blurry image in a telescope suddenly, miraculously becomes sharp and focused. Or when after staring blindly for hours, you suddenly see the other image in a Magic Eye painting.
(pssst …. it’s a bowl of flowers!)
In any spiritual work we’re often reminded that in order to make a change, we have to start to look at things in a different way. We have to re-examine the ordinary, and reveal the magic hidden in the mundane. We have to look with wonder, like a small child, at all the details. That way we see the whole picture and don’t filter out odd bits and pieces. Today’s scales falling epsiode reminds me of the University of Utah experiment in ‘Inattention blindness’ We very often don’t see the whole picture, or find the magic in the world, because we’re simply not looking properly for it.