December 17

Today's quotation:

Somewhere, in the back of your mind, try to remember that everything has God's fingerprints on it.  The fact that we can't see the beauty in something doesn't suggest that it's not there.  Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with a broad enough perspective to see it.

Richard Carlson

Today's Meditation:

Beauty is a wonderful part of life, though we very often get so caught up in life that we don't see all of the beauty that's there before us.  Life offers us many beautiful things in every moment in which we live, and if we want to see and appreciate it we have to remember that it's actually there, and that there's something for us to get out of it.  From a simple blade of grass to the eyes of a friend to an astonishing sunset, life offers us much to see, feel, and appreciate.

This beauty isn't there for itself.  Beauty unappreciated, after all, isn't beauty at all, is it?  But how does our appreciation affect us in positive ways?  How can simply recognizing and feeling good about beauty help us to make our lives fuller and richer?

Imagine having a treasure that you never find--it's somewhere in your back yard, but you never take the time to look for it.  Imagine having a million dollars and never spending any of it--the money most definitely could improve our lives if we use it wisely, but when it's locked away, it doesn't help us a bit.  Beauty is like that--it can give us bright treasures to appreciate and improve our lives with them, but if we don't look for it, we may never see it at all.  And if we don't see it, then we don't make it a part of our lives that can help us.

William Wordsworth spoke of having a host of daffodils in his "mind's eye," in his memory, which benefited him long after he saw them when he was able to recall the "host of golden daffodils."  The image was peaceful and relaxing to him.  Likewise, we can store up our own experiences with beauty and keep them for times when their memory just may help us through stressful times.

Questions to consider:

How often do you stop to notice and appreciate beauty?

Can you name five beautiful things in your sight at this moment?

Why might we often take beauty for granted?

For further thought:

The beauty is forever there before us, forever piping to us,
and we are forever failing to dance.  We could not help
but dance if we could see things as they really are.
Then we should kiss both hands to Fate and fling
our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls into life with
a glorious abandonment, an extravagant, delighted
loyalty, knowing that our wildest enthusiasm cannot
more than brush the hem of the real beauty and joy
and wonder that are always there.

Margaret Prescott Montague

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

  
  

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