the particular power of noticing

A friend paid me a supreme compliment recently.

We were in a small diner where we’d shared breakfast and heart-to-heart conversation. As we were leaving, I spoke the words. “Oh, I wish I had my camera. Look at those little rings our cups left on the table.”

The two perfect circles, almost-but-not-quite touching, bathed in morning light, all that was left of the mugs of steaming coffee . . . not a sad picture of things left unsaid or words that hurt or even longing, but rather a tribute to friendship and belonging.

Without missing a beat, my friend kindly commented. “That’s what I love about you. You notice everything.”