My first encounter with the elusive concept of beauty came as a child in the garden behind our house. A neighbor, admiring my mother’s newly flowering peonies, exclaimed: “These are so beautiful!”
Chef Marco Pierre White has said that nature is the true artist, and that a chef should let nature show herself off instead of forcing the ingredients into an unnatural or counter-intuitive presentation.
The bark of a birch, black lines on white with intricate texture and patterns. The canopy of the full-grown oak, leaves sparkling with movement, umbrella-like protection against the weather. The blood red of the fall leaves as the Japanese maple reveals its heart.
Beauty is the nightingale’s soft song that echoes as the dawn draws. Beauty is the power of love; a power so strong it may potentially bind two strangers til death do them part. But most importantly, beauty is the incredibly potential of humanity.
He reached out with his cane and hooked a branch with roses and carefully pulled it towards him and leaned over and smelled its fragrance. He then gently put the branch back with his cane, turned back around and continued his walk.
Beauty? In the air I breathe during my daily walk, in words: “When I see the black cricket in the woodpile, in autumn, I don’t frighten her. And when I see moss grazing upon the rock, I touch her tenderly, sweet cousin.” Mary Oliver, “Moss”. And “The sound of the ocean, the wind, your own heart.” Sylvie Germain, Magnus.
Beauty lies in the transformative power of words. I love the way the rhythm, musicality and juxtaposition of words on a page can ignite all five senses and create whole worlds in the mind.
Words can convey the humble grace of a coffee cup left next to an open book, or touch on the untold stories that once fell within the bare walls of a campus dorm room. Beauty is everywhere . . . if we can find the words.
Beauty is harmony, and balance. It is in things seen and unseen, and it is always in light and freedom. You see beauty in specks of dust floating in the air, swirling around us; you see it in a falling leaf, spiraling to the ground, and in the first crocuses of spring.
Beauty comes in moments, when something seen or heard or felt has the power to expand the spaces between heartbeats, make the inhale or exhale of breath be forgotten. Beauty lives in those pauses. There are no internal monologues, critical eyes, or external distractions. In the end everything else is still.