I wouldn’t want to live in a world without beauty. I don’t believe the human spirit can survive without it; I know mine couldn’t. I find a happy peace in beauty.
I’ve noticed that beauty hides a little. Sometimes you have to look for it. You have to bring yourself to it. When I stop and root myself in the moment, when I feel my feet on the ground, and I’m present in the moment, beauty is easy to find. She lives in the moments when we pause for her. Presence is a gift.
Opening to beauty, I find it unexpected places. It’s in a patch of brush behind the dog park where a pool of water reflects the trees like a watercolor. An oversized flag flying over a car dealership is magical dancing in the wind. The towers holding power lines, with their intricate geometry, in the thick morning fog emerge like ancient giants holding the keys to modernity. I used to think they were ugly, but when I look close, I see their beauty. Wildflowers and garbage along the highway are beautiful together in their kaleidoscope of colors, their symphony of life and death. It takes a traffic jam to see them.
I expect woods and gardens to be beautiful, but I can find beauty when I take out my trash. Yesterday, I saw a red cardinal standing on an extended branch of a misshapen pine tree. The bird looked ancient and otherworldly as it sat and watched me offer my bag to the pale green metal bin.
Today, I looked up and saw a vast sky. Blue on one side, dark gray — almost black with approaching rain clouds on the other. Dancing among the dark clouds was a single white billowy cloud occupying the last patch of blue sky. The sun sparkled through that patch and that white cloud was luminous. It looked the way I imagine enlightenment would feel if it came from the sky instead of from within.
I feel myself in my body. I feel myself in the moment. This is truth. This is mindfulness. Finding beauty in a pause is mindfulness and presence. I turn off my autopilot, and I am in my life rather than living a short distance from it.
If you make it your mission to find as much beauty as you can in your day, you will be surprised at how much you see.
Seeing the beauty in the ordinary, finding it in what you would typically pass by without seeing, is worshipping creation. I think of god as an artist. She gave us souls, and she gave us beauty and love to nourish them.
If you look for beauty every day, it will soon become an addiction. Seeing and feeling beauty is being in love with life and your humanity. There is no better natural high than the kind of love that depends on no one but you.
On vacation, it’s easy to see beauty. Away from the sense deadening of our everyday routines, all is fresh and new. Imagine seeing your town or city as if you were on vacation. You can bring fresh eyes to your world every single day. Every day can have elements of a vacation.
Your neighborhood is full of beauty waiting for you. Take yourself off autopilot. You see your neighborhood, your home, your friends, co-workers, and family every day, but how often do you stop and look at them with appreciative eyes? Everyone is beautiful.
There are many more ways of seeing human beauty than our eyes have become accustomed to by the media that feeds our brains every day. Beauty is in everyone. Maybe there’s something graceful in the hands. Or maybe, there are unusual flecks of colors in the eyes. It could be a beautiful symmetry or asymmetry of bone structure. It could be in the voice, the words, or the way a person moves. When a person’s Inner Light glows, no matter how much they differ from our notions of beauty, they are transfigured by that light, and they are beautiful.
When we fail to see beauty in another human, I believe that failure belongs to us. If we fail to see it, we’re not being present, open, and aware. There are exceptions; people who are full of hate, no matter how they meet the current definitions of beauty, often become ugly.
Seeing the beauty in another person makes them feel their beauty. Whenever I see beauty in a woman or a man, as I look into his or her eyes, I see something shifts in them. Perhaps when I see their beauty, I am seeing them, and they feel it. Their beauty grows in those moments. It’s a lovely experience.
Seeing and finding beauty can renew your heart and strengthen it. It lightens your spirit and creates buoyancy and brilliance. If you are down, it soothes. If you are happy, it fills your heart to the point of overflowing.
Take a moment and let your eyes see all the beauty of this living world.
© 2018, A. Breslin. All Rights Reserved