"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." – Roald Dahl

I don't know about you, but I LOVED Roald Dahl's books as a kid. Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits...I could go on and on. With his wicked sense of humor, Dahl's stories equally highlight the beautiful and the grotesque elements of life. But most of all, Dahl knew how to create a sense of wide-eyed wonder. He knew that magic is hidden in the most unlikely of places, and that we have to first believe in order to find it.

When I stumbled across this quote this week, it struck me because I've not exactly been watching the world with glittering eyes lately. In fact, I've been in a bit of an inspiration drought. (Can anyone relate?!) Life on a personal level is particularly challenging right now, and I've felt emotionally drained. I want so much for this blog to be a place of beauty and inspiration, but I realize that I have to take time to replenish in order to be able to give back. I also realize that it's important to reflect and to give thanks for the good things in life right now, rather than always looking ahead to the changes I'm hoping will come.

As I put together this little montage of life lately, I was struck by how much joy can be found in the simplest of pleasures, and by how sweet life can be – even in the midst of sorrow – if we keep our eyes open to see, and our hands open to receive. In the moments captured above – enjoying a warm, sunny day on the roof, of friends gathered around the table, of surprise gifts rescued from the trash, of Key Lime Pie and lamb tagine, of springtime flowers and a good cup of coffee, and of my husband back home where he belongs – I discovered a great secret. Life doesn't begin when all of your hopes and dreams come together in a neat little package: it's happening now, in all of its messy, unpredictable glory. If we think life will truly begin once we lose weight or get out of debt or have "fill in the blank" (more money, a better job, a spouse, a baby, a great apartment, etc.), we will miss out on the gift of TODAY. Which is actually all that we're guaranteed.

Funny, I sat down today feeling a total lack of inspiration, and in the process of writing this post, I found it. Life will never be comfortable, easy, or predictable. You'll never "arrive." Because even if you do reach your goal, there will be another one waiting just over the horizon. Set goals, dream big, never stop hoping – but know that the magic is hidden in today. In the ordinary moments. Don't let those glittering eyes go dull. Start looking around you, and you might be surprised by what you discover.