I was wrangling a small section of my yard, between a fence and the driveway, to be weed-free. Outside I went, early on a Saturday morning, to pull weeds. I hate pulling weeds. I was in a dark mood, cursing every weedy handful I pulled from the ground as if nature had conspired to torment me:
Stupid weeds! Why are you growing rampantly in this patch of fertile soil which was left untended? How dare you do this to me!
Why are your stupid roots so strong? Not fair!
Now my back hurts… all your fault weeds!
Then as I took a breath to power another round of whiny mental petulance – I smelled the scent of jasmine. Beautiful fragrant jasmine, flowering in a neighbor’s yard.
The scent stopped me in my tracks. I inhaled again. Paused and breathed it in. Um, what was I thinking? Oh yes, how delicious jasmine is.
If I hadn’t been outside pulling those cursed weeds, I would have missed the breeze that brought lovely jasmine to me. As I write this, I can still feel the moment when the bold scent melted my frustration and lightened my mood.
Beauty has the power to inspire, to calm, to soothe and to ground us in the present moment.
There is beauty all around us, yet we often don’t notice when we are focused on our daily routine, caught up in a list of to-dos and the push to get done the stuff that doesn’t feel beautiful and uplifting to do. We become stuck in tunnel-vision, only seeing the blech of the tasks ahead.
And then sometimes, at a moment when we least expect it, beauty comes to the rescue. Beauty tickles our senses and pulls us out of the tunnel that was so constricting. It brings us back to now and broadens our focus so we can relax, breathe easier, and see the wonder of the world around us beyond our to-dos.
Beauty triumphs when we welcome it in and let it soften any rough edges we are feeling.
That same day, a friend shared a story of a moment of beauty – her cat woke her up early and kept pestering her, so my friend grudgingly got up to let kitty outside. When she opened the door, she saw two deer in a field across the street as the sun was rising. Sweet beauty, leaving a lasting impression.
Where is the beauty around you?
I invite you to find something beautiful around you right now, no matter where you are. It could be the formation of clouds in the sky. Or in the smile of the next person you see. In the swirl of milk in your morning coffee. Or the feel of your favorite pair of shoes.
Wherever you find it, notice it and let beauty work its magic on you.
"I thought perhaps I did indeed have a purpose, and that purpose was to see the true beauty of the world" – from The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman