I wonder if beauty is another name for God and in connecting with generosity we’re connecting with the heart and joy of the Spirit?
My British friend who has been visiting the UK from her home in Canada said something in passing that got me thinking. She was in awe and wonder at the beauty of England, the trees, fields, animals and architecture of this place had become less familiar to her which made her stop to look and absorb the beauty it offered. She said in passing “but I guess it’s all familiar to you”. She was right, I didn’t experience the same level of wonder and beauty in my surroundings as she was enjoying.
I remember experiencing the same thing when we lived in Canada – what was familiar and even a nuisance to locals (red squirrels and chipmunks) never ceased to be a gift to us, the arrival and departure of the herons, the sight of eagles, new landscapes – all were a source of wonder.
My friend was able to be present to the gift of beauty because it was unfamiliar and I recognised an ache within me that wanted more of that for myself even within familiarity. How could I see with fresh eyes the beauty and generosity that offered itself to me every time I walked Moth the dog, every time I swam, every time I enjoyed a really good cup of coffee, every time I looked into the eyes of my husband, my friends? How could I live more alive and present to beauty wherever it was showing up in my life?
Our senses can fade when we’re in the routine of life. Repetition can send us into living on automatic rather than living fully alive. We can miss out on what’s on offer all around us, the gifts that travel through our hours and days. Even when we’re walking through suffering, beauty is present and perhaps we need to connect with it even more in those seasons of life.
It takes time and intention to be more present and sometimes that is something that is in short supply. But may-be we can start small, may-be we can really allow ourselves to taste the coffee, put our faces into the soft fur of our pets and look more deeply into the eyes of our friends and lovers. Perhaps there’s a grace on offer as we connect with our desire to experience awe and wonder that takes the veil from our eyes and invites us to see again. Perhaps we can slow down a little in order to be present and receive a little more. Even when we’re experiencing a broken heart can we open to beauty as an ointment of grace to bring a little comfort?
I want to be open to seeing a little more of the beauty and immense generosity that surrounds me, whether that be in my environment, people or any number of other ways it comes. It’s the well-worn saying to “stop and smell the roses” but perhaps we all need that gentle reminder once in a while.
Oh and one more thing, I wonder if beauty is another name for God and in connecting with generosity we’re connecting with the heart and joy of the Spirit?