I was painting the house today again – hours of boring and mindless toil (imagine what life must be like for those that paint every day for a living). I ate my lunch in front of the kitchen window, my mind whirling around my personal thoughts while I chewed methodically. It was a cheese, mayonnaise and lettuce sandwich, but I was hardly registering the taste. All of a sudden, I was taken out of myself by a surprising sight. In the flowerbed of the garden, near to the pear tree, there were a clump of beautiful red flowers that had sprung out of nowhere. I had been painting the house for the last month or so (if it takes two or three coats for every room, you can imagine how long it would take for a big house), but had never noticed the blazing intensity of these wonders of nature. While I had been worrying about accidentally staining the newly painted ceilings or fussing around the corners and edges of the walls, stressing over how many coats I would have to do, the beautiful flowers had blossomed, living their own brief lives. It is necessary, but funny how things happen outside of yourself while you are concentrating on something else. I wonder how much of life and the beauty of nature passes us by while we are busy in our own silly concerns. How much happens in the world and how little we know of it. How little we pay attention to the wonder around us. While I was carefully glossing the skirting boards of the children’s room with metres and metres of masking tape, I took a moment to look out of the window at the street below. The trees had erupted in a mass of goldish brown, the sign of autumn. Yet, I wondered, how many passers-by on the street would look at these colourful leaves and register their subtle meanings?