Ordinary Beauty All Around
Have you ever looked around and noticed the ordinary beauty all around you as you walk through your neighborhood or take a walk in the woods? I love finding the beautiful little vignettes that I see here and there. A colorful shady front porch, flower gardens beside the street — colors, shapes, patterns, textures. Beauty is all around us hiding in plain sight.
For example in the photograph above, I see several of my favorite colors—turquoise, green, and blue—along with the texture of the worn wooden planks of the porch floor, spiky variagated airplane plant fronds, rectangular blocks and door, round tricycle wheels and a pop of red contrast with the bright red chair by the door.
I can imagine all sorts of stories about the family who lives here. There is a child who plays here and someone who loves plants. The colors suggest someone in the family has an artistic bent. I imagine spending time sitting in the shade on the porch on a sunny day, enjoying the fresh breezes, drinking a glass of homemade lemonade, and waving hello to neighbors passing by. All of these happy thoughts come from pausing to notice the beauty of the colors and shapes on this front porch.
Sometimes when I go on walks with my camera I take the same trail back that I took out so that I have an opportunity to look at the same landscape from different directions. It often surprises me the things I see when I look at things from a different direction. I also pause occasionally and look up, down, and all around. It is often during those pauses that the magic and beauty sinks in and I feel a wave of joy and well-being rise up from my toes all the way to my heart.
People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
— Salma Hayek
You don’t need to go somewhere special to see beauty. Take a walk. Look up. Look down. Turn around and look behind you. Bend down so that you can peer closely at the plants or rocks beneath your feet. Notice the colors. Notice shapes and textures. Notice how the light hits objects. Notice how shadows obscure details and sometimes create their own shapes. Notice how different colors make you feel. Look in the mirror.
Pay Attention to Ordinary Beauty
Yesterday as I was heading out the door to take a walk I peeked in the basket of flowers that hangs outside our door. Earlier this year a house finch made her nest there. I was surprised to see that a robin had recycled the nest, building up the sides and adding more dried plant material. And there were 3 perfect robin eggs in the nest. What a gift!
Is it time for you to slow down and pay attention to ordinary beauty?
May you walk in beauty.