So Much Beauty

October 28, 2020

Every day I walk for about an hour in my neighborhood if it isn’t icy, below zero, or raining cats and dogs. I say my practices as I go. Sometimes I pick up trash along the side of the road. When I am awake to the beauty of the world, I see it shining in its essence. If I am absorbed in thoughts about some problem or preoccupation, I miss the beauty that sings out to me, in the sounds the birds make, and in the branches waving in the breeze. I am especially susceptible to loving the color of the sky when it is clear and blue. How fortunate we are to live on a planet where the atmosphere appears in this incredibly beautiful shade of blue, punctuated by clouds of infinite shapes and colors. How we miss it when smoke and fire turn the sky red and orange.

The light guilds the blades of grass and leaves of the trees, their green color standing against the blue sky. Gentle motions are graceful as dancing figures. Dogs bark and wag their tails, anxious to alert me that I am passing their domains. Birds crisscross the view, their arc of flight tantalizing the air. Homes are painted colors contrasting with trim and shutters, each one emblematic of its current owners who mow their lawns in diagonal patterns and cultivate flowers, bushes, and trees. Tiny chipmunks dart across the road into the weeds where they have their little homes. Everywhere, light dapples patterns on surfaces smooth and coarse, shifting with the passing clouds.

All of this is invisible when I am caught up in worry, fear, and mental dullness, trudging through my walk as if it is a penance. With a bit of luck, a moment of perception will awaken me and I will know again that I am held in a scenario of radiance and creativity.

Beauty is everywhere to be seen, if only we can attune ourselves to notice.