I never cease to be amazed how beauty appears in the least expected places. This weekend was full of incredible beauty in my little corner of the world– but could have been easily overlooked. I saw so many lovely sights that it is difficult to catalog them all, so I’ll try to highlight some of what I saw and experienced. (As usual, this is in no particular order)
- The atmosphere of love and acceptance that permeated a local ethnic festival. Everywhere I looked, I saw people hugging, sharing meals, dancing with strangers, and celebrating life. I was hugged and kissed by a great many people, many of whose names I did not know until that day.
- The gracious and selfless service of a child who is quickly becoming a man. I have had the pleasure of watching this young one grow for a couple of years. This weekend, I saw him help people without being asked –always with a look of joy on his angelic face. He even gave me the coat off his back when he realized that I was shivering.
- The handmade gifts and hand-written notes bearing the love of my children. Those notes are what make me smile. The unconditional love of these angels, forgiving me for my failings and comforting me when my burdens become too heavy, is an incredible gift.
- A simple brief kiss that made my knees buckle.
- The gift of new life that a friend shared with the world today. Such a treasure that will give years of beauty to this world.
- The look in my mother’s eyes when she realized that her kitchen was clean. It was the only gift I could give today, and her smile was the appreciation of the Goddess herself.
- The joy of eating a meal that was prepared by a group of incredibly talented people. The simplicity of the ingredients and loving way that they were prepared made eating a transcendental experience.
As I continue along my journey, these experiences of unexpected loveliness are like the tiny flowers that flourish along mountain paths. They appear with vibrant color that would be easy to overlook while trudging through everyday life. I think the important lesson is to recognize these moments when they appear, which is easier said than done these days. I am a person who lives with my Blackberry strapped to my side during my waking hours. I love to set and reach goals, and sometimes my desire for achievement blinds me to the beauty that surrounds me. It’s very easy to do, driven as I am by the buzzing of my phone or fulfilling the needs of another person. In the end, I thirst for the beauty that feeds my soul.
I think that recognition of these unexpected gifts is an acknowledgement of the Universe in our lives. It’s the Creator’s way of saying, “Hello! Pay attention to my love.” To miss the little beauties is to miss out on the love that is our destiny.