As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reflecting today on my gratitude for beauty and the way it reminds us of God’s presence in our lives. Some people are able to enjoy beauty in their homes—with pleasing designs and beautiful furnishings. Some can enjoy beauty in travel to lovely places with breathtaking vistas of seas or mountains.
But no matter where we live and what our means, we can enjoy the beauties of creation if we take the time to notice and appreciate the handiwork of the Creator in the world.
As the beautiful colors of autumn fade to the leafless greys and browns of our Minnesota November, we can still find the beauties of creation if we keep our eyes open and our hearts attentive to grace—the tiny golden gloss of the setting sun peeking through the grey at just the right moment during the afternoon commute, the bright pink of an overwintering geranium petal, the rich smell of sautéing onions and garlic in the beginning of soup making, the patterns of rain drops on an old watering can, the flicker of candlelight at dusk. I have a friend who is suffering and her home is filled with music. Even as the heart and spirit are weary, the rich sound of beautiful instruments and voices provides nourishment to the soul.
Some days we may have to look harder to find the beauty or we may have had our gazes diminished by attitudes that cloud our ability to appreciate where joys can be found. I recently had a conversation with someone who had visited a vacation spot where I had also been. The person spoke only of what she couldn’t buy and do. Although their itinerary contained more costly events than my own, you would not have thought we had been to the same place. As I spoke of the beautiful red rocks, the unbelievable flowers and arrangements, the fountains and music and colors and weather, she looked at me as though I was speaking another language.
When we are tired and weary, when life is hard or when it is easier, the ability to look for God’s presence in the beautiful is available to all of us and blessed are those who cultivate the ability to find small beauties each day that remind us that God is great and good and constantly recreating and redeeming in our world and in our lives.