In the early morning hours, the dirt trail from the cabin to where I had parked the car was various shades of grey. On my subsequent trips to load our gear, the sun began its slow progress to reach the top of the nearby hill.
My stumbling over stones previously unseen became more infrequent. The wilderness of the trail became featured discovery. “Wild grass,” I thought, “and weeds. That’s all that grow out here.”
I finished loading the car and turned once more to the cabin. It wasn’t until then that I fully realized the unlikely beauty that was poised perfectly in the center of the path.
Too often I ignore the unlikely beauty of those things nearby — until I trip across them and find myself astonished. It’s not until I begin to expect beauty and wisdom and grace and wonder that I begin to see it routinely. And it’s not until that moment that I begin to experience joy.
The key to joy in life is not perfection in all of our experiences. The key to joy is knowing and expecting unlikely beauty to be right in our path.