Beauty moves us. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and being, in powerful and indescribable ways. Some of us experience beauty in ways that change us forever, reforming what we believe about our self and life. In today’s article, we’ll talk about this redeeming and restorative power, of beauty.
Regardless what language we speak, beauty has the power to cross barriers of culture and history. Imagine of the beauty of a genuine smile, a baby’s giggle, the Basilica, the Seven Wonders of the World, hearing an honest thank you, seeing the vibrancy of youth, and tasting of a ripe piece of fruit. All are instantly recognized by means of feeling this beauty, without words.
Beautiful little stories.
This topic of beauty may be the most personally profound of any that I have, or may ever speak. Personally, I’ve experienced seismic shifts in my inner perception, by means of the ways that beauty has affected me. Below, are five of my profound experiences with, and by means of, beauty.
The beauty of art.
I’d anticipated my arrival in Florence, Italy for two years. Though any number of experiences in that beautiful city hold the potential to change one’s life, my monumental moment lived in the Uffizi Gallery. When I met Aphrodite, she took my breath away at 15 yards with my back turned. Upon pivoting to discover what beckoned me, I stood frozen, my breath held in escrow by truth, for what seemed a lifetime. She felt to me to be absolutely alive, at once holding my heart and setting me free.
The beauty of youth.
After years of struggle in a confusing family environment, my nine-year-old friend turned to me and robustly said, “You’re the best big person I’ve ever had.”
The beauty of nature.
While mindlessly walking the solitary beach of Hunting Island, South Carolina, I was called by a deeper force, away from the water and towards the trees. In bare feet, through unbroken forest, I wended my way past palmetto fronds as thick as blades of grass, unconsciously drawing nigh of a softer, yet deeper siren than the sea. Like a gentle conductor, I made my way through the palmettos like a lover through the shields around his loved one, eager to behold their heart. As I gazed upon the ground, assuring not to step upon a snake or sticktight, I spied an immense trunk, the size of which might only be likened to a redwood. And I looked up. It was then that I welled up with tears, mouth agape in awe at her immense expanse, and I met Inaju–grandmother tree and wisdom keeper of the ages, whose teachings will forever live with and through me.
The beauty of birth.
Amidst the despair of healing from a deadly disease, the end of a long-term relationship, and isolation during our country’s shutdown, I was gifted by the balancing, healing hope of bearing witness to the miraculous, live birth and first flight of a dragonfly.
The beauty of flowers, especially wild ones, anywhere.
No matter how difficult, how trying, or how lost I have felt, flowers bring me back to a fundamental truth. A truth that I’ve needed to be reminded. That beauty blooms to bloom. If a flower blooms in the forest does anyone smell it? It doesn’t matter. Flowers bloom because that’s what they do. They bloom for beauty’s sake! They remind me to bloom on, just because. There is deep and lasting beauty in this wisdom.
Real beauty transforms.
True beauty, genuine beauty, beauty for no reason, is real. Beauty that doesn’t try to be beautiful can transform us. Beauty may be the most impactful way to reach the depths of our unexplainable souls, where words never lived. It can transform us in ways that we didn’t realize we needed but somehow knew we wanted.
Beauty, like grace, is unmerited.
The word grace means unmerited favor. Unmerited means undeserving. And favor means blessings or gifts. If we’ve never thought about how we’ve been graced by the enormity, the vastness, the inconceivable-everywhereness of beauty, then I ask us to become aware of this now. We’ve been gifted more beauty than we can experience within a lifetime. It is fathomless.
Beauty has the grace to save us.
If we are willing, beauty can pull us back to life from whatever depths of disparagement in which we’ve been wading. Beauty can be a lifeline. Think of it. Have we ever had a horrible day, and some courageous, oblivious soul simply smiled at us? The power of the beauty in that act can change everything. Or the beauty of a kind word. Or a soft breeze. Or a grateful thought. When we think on these beautiful things, or when we observe beauty, or when we are in awe of and enjoy beauty, we are not forsaken. Our focus on beauty can save us from any depth of despair.
What say ye?
Will you allow yourself to notice the beauty in your world, now? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section, so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,