Truth seems an ever more elusive thing on the lips of the ones that rule and sway, so scant now that every word becomes just another exhausting mirage. But step into the garden, and sit with any simple bloom. Let its beauty unfold and speak to you. Without a syllable, nature brings the truth.
the moth alights in front me. i later learn it is the eight-spotted forester, but that’s just the name the English-speaking humans give to it. i don’t speak eight-spotted forester, so i do not know to what name the moth would actually answer. it speaks no language i understand. i don’t know its ways. it lives a life beyond my comprehension. but there it is, comfortably paused just there where i can’t help noticing its stark splendor. i reach out and touch the very tip of its wing. it does not move but spreads its wings out for me to see. this moth is part of my world, both ordinary and exotic, living its own life its own way while i live mine – and it is easy to see how beautiful and perfect that is.
early evening blushes
with a deepening streak of pink
sun sinks into the earth
the glow darkens
into inky blue
a star comes out
soon the heavens are an endless sweep
that pulls me
up up up
into the mystery
i am but another star
as incomprehensibly beautiful as this boundless sky
that holds me
as I yet behold
my heart full with it
full with it
Thank you to Eugie’s Causerie for inspiring this poem. The prompt to which this responds is “Gratitude.”
For today, I notice what’s beautiful.
The world is so much more than what turns up on a screen. So for today, I look around me and notice what’s beautiful. And it is everywhere.
I notice the cat’s gentle eyes. I notice the early morning trill of a bird. I notice the way the sun sparkles across the river, the graceful branches of the trees. I notice your smile reaching into your eyes.
Looking up, and noticing, there is beauty all around me.
Today, each day, I notice what’s beautiful.
It is easy to lope along the path and not really see anything in particular. Eyes focused on the ground ahead, everything else is peripheral.
Whole days pass in similar fashion. You stay focused on what needs to happen, where you need to go, and lots of things remain out there, virtually unseen in the periphery.
Every now and then, though, something captures your attention for a moment before you press on with the agenda. A stranger smiles at you as you pass, or says something nice to you. A friendly dog makes you laugh. A rainbow emerges. You just never know.
Except you do. There’s something beautiful out there each and every day if you’re paying attention.
A lot of our attention these days gets sucked up by pretty depressing media. It can frame our days with anxiety, fear, and disappointment. We suffer with it collectively.
The headlines and the tweets seem unavoidable, but there, out there in the blur of life is a bright red cardinal poised on a branch. It’s a gift from the universe, if we can but notice it. Or maybe it’s the wind in the trees, or a purring cat, or a star in the night sky, or a gentle, spoken word.
I have decided to be on the lookout for these beautiful things. I am noticing with intention.
So, among other things, I stopped today to really look at the cardinal I caught out of the corner of my eye. I discovered two woodpeckers and a talkative chipmunk on scene as well as a pretty fantastic berried tree that I really need to look up.
The more I think about this business of beautiful moments in our lives, large and small, it seems like the thing to do is also to actively bring beauty to this party – in whatever form that might take.
In truth, I am not sure what that means for me exactly: to find ways to bring beautiful moments to the world – to other people, to other animals, to the earth, the universe. But what a delightful little adventure.
I do not advocate ignoring the pressing issues of our times to soothe our souls. I can’t help but think that a collective practice of bringing beauty, and taking it in, would have the power ultimately to impact the negative framework and indeed, the entire narrative.