The ordinary is beautiful to me–domestic rituals in the home, a garden’s winter bones, sun on my granddaughters’ hair–where we live and breathe and grow. And at the core of the ordinary is the miraculous, if we pay close attention.
Everything we take into ourselves forms who we are in a continuous process of becoming. Maybe beauty reaches into everything, linking and making meaning in ways well beyond our awareness. Maybe it is hidden in stories, sights, and sensations we deem ugly or frightening because we aren’t tuned to beauty. Maybe finding beauty is a choice we learn to make.
For every news story I read or phone call I make, I pad my core with a little more beauty. The trick to survival, now more than ever, is to hold onto music, color, art, and language. Beauty is not a luxury; it’s vital—it’s how we honor what’s important even as ugliness breaks out around us.
Beauty comes to me, first and foremost, through my eyes. The natural world serves as my most consistent doorway to it–whether through a mackerel sky at sunset, the geometry of garden flowers, striations in stones, the hover of raptors, the myriad shapes of insects, the wind swirling grass, or light playing on water.
In a story written by the Yugoslav Nobel prize laureate Ivo Andric, an endless battle between beauty and evil in the world is presented through interesting metaphors. Beauty is seen as a young sheep, a talented dancer, and an old wolf symbolizes evil. One day, wandering through the woods, the sheep named Aska finds herself before an old wolf. She dances on a meadow to save her life, and the old wolf stays enchanted by the beauty of the dance.
The world needs to refigure their ideas of perception and embrace the simplicity and glory of sunshine and its reflection over letters. Beauty is in places you need to transcend to look.