Looking Down – by Pip Helix (Davin’s Den)

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As I walked through the parking lot of the barbeque place I like to go get our dinner from on occasion, I looked down and was noticing the crushed stone they used to fill in the expanse of parking lot that was not paved.  It had rained recently, and I noticed that the stones looked particularly colorful when they were wet from the rain.  Moving more slowly, I realized that some of them were pink, maybe rose quartz.  
Although it’s pretty common in this area, and you can find random pieces of it while simply digging in the garden, I’ve always had a fondness for rose quartz.  When you think of the rocks on the ground, you normally think brown or grey, maybe mustard or white, but if someone said the word “rock” or “stone” to you, you wouldn’t jump right to pink, because it’s not the most common.  I wondered how many people walk through that busy parking lot every day, and have never thought to look at the stones as they crossed over it. Does anyone notice how pretty the stones mixed into the crushed rock are? Or even the subtle beauty of concrete mixed with tiny multicolored pebbles?
It made me think of a time when I worked in New York City, and some friends and I were walking to the subway after spending a night out.  There was a little bit of drinking involved on my part, but certainly not enough to be inebriated, just pleasantly buzzed.  As we turned a corner, I felt like I had entered into a fairy land, where the street lamps were actually slightly yellow, and looked old-timey, and they lit up the pieces of mica or some reflective stone that was in the sidewalk like diamonds. The entire area was sparkling and beautiful, and when I pointed it out to my friends, they accused me of being drunk, and of getting just a little too excited about the sidewalk.  Well, maybe it seems odd, but I was excited and in awe of the fact that someone took the care to put some sparkly material into something as ordinary as a concrete sidewalk.  Did they think that someone would notice and find it beautiful?  Did others scoff when they revealed their plan to make the sidewalk pretty?
There’s a lamp post on a corner near my home, where the traffic light is.  When I am the passenger in the car, I can see the base of the lamp post whenever we get stopped at the red light, and I look at the scrollwork that was included in the metal base of the post.  There is a deliberate design there, a place where mostly no one will ever see, but someone who created this lamp post base many years ago added a pretty detail.  No one designing a modern lamp post would ever bother doing such a thing, but there is, hidden in the grass, in a place where only the occasional dog walking past would be close enough to see.  
There is a tree in front of the building where I used to work, that had this giant, bulbous growth on the lower part of the trunk.  I noticed it when there was work being done on our parking lot, and we were forced to find parking in other areas for the while the sidewalks and parking were being redone.  On top of that big knot is an indented area that would be an idea spot to place something, a little elf or ornament, just waiting for someone to walk by and notice.  How long would it take for someone to see it?  Would they take it with them, or leave it for others to find and enjoy, this secret little treasure?
Our back yard is wooded, and yet the grass is fairly lush.  It’s not the type of grass that grows in the sunny spots, but instead a finer, green grass, and in places the grass hangs over an under layer of delicate kelly green moss and tiny plants that look almost fern-like.  It’s a beautiful collection of moisture-loving tiny plants, some looking like miniscule trees.  Sometimes, the most tiny, delicate white flowers bloom, and the yard is a carpet of white and yellow, with the occasional wild strawberry.  The landscapers march through the yard with the lawnmowers, keeping the taller grasses at bay, but the tiny world just below their blades continues on, a miniscule botanical garden that no one but the chipmunks notice.

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