Gathering String


“String is everywhere for the taking, if you have the talent to take it.”

This quote jumped out at me from a NYT article on Serendipity, the author was talking about the reporter-ism of ‘gathering string’ - following the lead of a story wherever it leads you.

But gathering string is a way to walk through life.

Being aware of the pieces of string that are moments of beauty, the blessings, the sparkles that are constantly surrounding us-for the taking.

What does the ‘talent to take it’ look like?  Webster’s defines a talent as a special ability that allows someone to do something well.  I would even take it one step further to believe that many of our talents are something that we are born with and if nurtured, can shine brighter.

If I close my eyes and imagine this string gathering, I picture literal red yarn strewn all over my day. I picture myself literally picking it up and following it, gathering it in a ball in my hand as I move on. It would be hard to ‘miss’ the red string if we were holding the ball in our hand, if it was leading us from one amazing moment to the next.

Why then is it so difficult to see the beauty that surrounds us daily?  Granted, there is no vibrant yarn path leading me to each moment of awe.  I do not actually hold this bright red yarn ball in my hand as I move about my day, but the moments of beauty are no less present.  The blessings and acts of grace and mercy are not hidden from sight.

Perhaps this is where the talent comes in.

We must nurture our ability to walk through our days, the mundane Thursday afternoons of winter, as if we were following a beautiful path of wonder.  As if we are following a clear and bright path, leading us from one spectacular thing to the next. We possess this talent, this ability that allows us to do it well.

What might we notice today if we were utilizing this special ability?  Would it be the sunrise we often see on our drive to work, and take for granted, but today we took the time to park, pause, and savor it.  Would it be the sunbeam that shines in your doors on a frigid afternoon? Would it be the birds singing in the morning that stir thoughts of summer, even while wearing a winter coat?

Today I will watch closely for where that string is leading me, I will carry what I see in my heart and I will be thankful.

Anna Bonnema