Seeing Your World in a New Light and Noticing Little Things

"The Gangly Hand."
With over 100 people signed up for 31 Adventures email prompts, it's obvious the project is something special. One of my "New Year's Resolutions" is to pay attention, and the first two prompts gave me a chance to see simple things in a new light. I found the first prompt in my email inbox early Sunday morning, the first day of 2012:

Today’s adventure is all about seeing things in a new and different light. Take a photo of something familiar from a new angle: up close; upside down; from above; from underneath.

I live in an apartment in beautiful old building in Philadelphia. With life in beautiful old buildings comes unique fixtures. They give the building something architects and artistic types call "character." There's no doorbell to the apartment, but there is a wacky looking knocker I refer to as "the gangly hand." I have no idea how old it is or how long it's been there, but it's the only one like it in the building. I open and close my door numerous times each day and have never taken a good look at it.

After shooting this photo of the knocker from the side and slightly below, I see it's not gangly at all. It's a slender right hand adorned with a beautiful ring and a fluffy wrist cuff hanging gingerly on to a perfectly round ball. The ball sits on a small flat pedestal capable of creating an incredible amount of noise when knocked. It's fun seeing something you overlook every day from a different perspective.

The second prompt this morning is something I endeavor to do every day, but never seem to remember. It's so important to stop and look around; you never know what you'll find:

Today's adventure invites you to pause and notice the littlest things: The way the light comes in the window. The rise and fall of your chest as you breath (or maybe the breath of whoever else is in the room). The patterns made by the trees.

Noticing a very typical looking light fixture in
atypical form: from below and covered in ice!
This prompt reminded me of a photo I took on my trip to Revelstoke, British Columbia last winter. I'd never seen so much snow in my life and the area was absolutely stunning. It was also a bit of a challenge to get to. After a flight from Philadelphia to Toronto, another from Toronto to Vancouver and a third from Vancouver to Kelowna, BC, we still had a three hour drive to Revelstoke.

On our first day, we took our four wheel drive Jeep for a little joy ride up to Glacier National Park. As expected, the avalanche danger was high and we couldn't venture too far from the road without proper gear.

We drove up the Trans Canada Highway and stopped at the visitors center in the park. As I weaved my way through 10-foot tall snow banks in the parking lot and up to the front door, I noticed the light above me, despite being under a roof, was completely covered in beautiful icicles. The icicles were perfectly formed, illuminated by the afternoon sun trying desperately to break through the clouds. I don't often look up when I'm walking, but was glad I took the time to that day.

Even if you haven't signed up for 31 Adventures email prompts, you can find them here. Take a look, they might cause you to change your perspective on ordinary things and work more adventure into your life! If you've seen the prompts, what have you done to work them into your day?