Where do we encounter beauty? Is it only in the gallery or from the mountaintop? Does it matter if it’s only an occasional experience?
What would happen to us if we attuned our senses to seek for beauty in our every day, all-around-us world?
Because we rarely see what we don’t look for.
Yes, sometimes the unexpected creeps into our line of sight and we are surprised by joy. But more often we just don’t see it, because we are not looking. Or it simply gets crowded out and the harsh and ugly dominates.
Over the last few months I have become more sensitive to violence and anger, and therefore limit my exposure. It’s a conscious decision as I can’t deal with the emotional drain on top of everything else…
As I have become more vulnerable – through loss and illness – so my capacity to encounter beauty seems to have increased:
- Noticing exquisite beauty in nature, even at the small scale. The green, greenness of an emerging leaf; the vibrant early morning birdsong; a petal revealing itself to the light.
- Experiencing simple acts of kindness from family and friends (and previously unknown healthcare staff).
- Receiving gentle words of encouragement from those with generous intentions, who seek my best.
I also see it in the macro scale as spring comes, draping her velvet cloak of multi-hued green across the valley.
Beauty does more than just delight my eyes, it restores my soul. My smile starts on the inside and works its way out, touching all that I experience. And potentially all who encounter me.
If I rush, I miss it and I am impoverished. I cease to see what is in plain sight.
The thing about beauty is that it isn’t demanding. It won’t push its way forward if I am already filling the space with other things.
I have to make a choice. Am I going to seek for that which is beautiful – in its many, many guises – or am I going to sidestep the opportunity?
Stop a moment.
Don’t just look in passing.
Gaze. Drink it in.
And feel your soul being restored.
You might also enjoy:
Pursuing beauty – idealism or tangible difference? – 22nd November 2017
We are wired for beauty – 8th November 2017