Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
     The truth that I see is that everything is miracle, and if you have not yet connected to that truth, then you have found one of the intentions that you carried into Life.
     We live in a society that claims rationality and reason, and denies the existence of anything it cannot weigh and measure and dissect and codify. Miracles are outside “the norm”.
     Science has labelled and named many functions of the physical world, and claimed them for The Norm. This even includes miraculous things. It is my contention that a name does not imply comprehension.
     Every few seconds, the miracle of breathing impacts our bodies in innumerable ways. Science can name the fact that lungs absorb gases, and even measure the proportions of gas in inhalation compared to the exhalation: We breathe in about 21% oxygen; 0.03% carbon dioxide; about 78% nitrogen; about 0.97% rare gases and varying amounts of water vapour.
     When we breathe out the oxygen is reduced to 16%, the carbon dioxide is boosted to 4% and there is additional water vapour along with unchanged amounts of nitrogen and rare gases.
     Numbers, facts and statistics are simply data which conceal the fact that the science of breath is  about what we can observe, measure and record, rather than what we understand fully.
     Breath is with us from our first cry after birth until the last sigh as the body ceases to host life. Breath is a miracle. Breath is possibly the most neglected function of living, and even those among us who engage in conscious breathing and breath meditation and other practices have defined times when breath is the focus. Through most of our days and all of our sleep, healthy people don’t consider or connect to breath at all.
     That we are able to ignore such a basic necessity seems a bit miraculous too.
     This physical world is crammed full with miracles we ignore.
     I am blessed to live in a place of astounding natural beauty. At this time of year, I eat most of my meals outdoors. Near Gatineau Park, which boasts approximately 1,000 vascular plant species and 50 species of trees, I enjoy a view which includes rock maples and oaks and aspen and hundreds more I cannot name. I watch leaves twitch as squirrels and countless birds go about their business, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of a raccoon family or deer moving through the undergrowth.
     Sun and rain and miracles create this habitat. No part of human society can reproduce these systems which are intimately and infinitely connected: each to every other part. I remain behind screens and do not interact with the vital insect component of the area. Nevertheless, I am aware that without the ants and spiders and bees and flies, the flowers and birds and animals would fade quickly.
     I choose to notice the miracles, whenever I remember. Like breathing, it is easy to take for granted that which is always there.     
     Some days, though, I am given the gift of a bird which carries meaning for my life, or a cloud formation that takes a shape which makes a suggestion to me, or a squawk from the forest canopy that sounds like a word I need to hear.
     Auguries? Oracles? Coincidences? I call them miracles, and I do my best to stay awake to them, open to them, and grateful to be living amongst them.
     Give it a try. As Lemony Snicket so wisely pointed out: “Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see.”

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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