Beauty to the Rescue
The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread.
~ D.H. Lawrence
For many, beauty isn’t top of mind at the moment. A ruthless global pandemic is raging. In the United States, we’ve witnessed the historic violation of our democracy’s Capitol, we’re a bitterly divided people and it’s a gray bone-chilling mid-winter day in my neck of the woods.
I just escaped the daunting pile of to-do’s on my desk to brave icy drizzle and check in with the garden – in particular, Great Grandma’s peonies (pictured.) Yes! I spotted three bright red buds pushing through frosty soil, promising lush full blown pink blossoms with that heady peony fragrance in a few short months. It may feel like the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but Mama Nature’s bliss is on the way.
My grandparents were sharecropper farmers in the mountains of Western North Carolina. They didn’t have an easy life. Yet, Grandma always managed to grow the most gorgeous flowers – most of them pass-alongs from friends and family, or painstakingly nursed into life from a precious packet of seeds (a real splurge.)
Grandpa was of the practical mindset “If you can’t eat it, why go to the trouble to grow it?” On more than one occasion as the years crept up, I heard him urge Grandma to sit down and rest her aching joints after spending all day canning beans, shucking corn, tending the chickens, mending clothes, etc. Instead of putting her feet up, she’d summon her last reserves of energy to tend her precious flowers before calling it a day.
Beauty does indeed feed the soul. Have you fed your soul lately?
The past months have been heavy. A little soul food is in order don’t you think?
Maybe flowers aren’t your thing. Whatever you find beautiful, consider this an invitation to treat yourself. Beauty need not cost a thing. Maybe it’s gifting yourself to a few serene moments to savor the sunrise before tackling the day’s challenges. Perhaps it means curating a cozy corner just for you with soft pillows and throw, a candle, and a few of your favorite mementoes where you can refresh a worn-out spirit. A walk in nature is a sure-fire beauty fix for me any season of the year. Perhaps you’d enjoy my Nature Rx images and musings on Instagram @greenleafcynthia.
If ever there was time for some soul nourishing beauty, this would be it. For yourself. For those you love.
I leave you with a few more beautiful quotes:
- Love beauty; it is the shadow of God on the universe.
~ Gabriela Mistral
- Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson
- But in the midst of all that uncertainty and lack of clarity, there lies a wild beauty. A hope. Possibility. The promise of something bigger than us happening just beneath the surface that we can’t see.
~ Mandy Hale
- We all want quiet. We all want beauty … We all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently.
~ Octavia Hill, 1883, Co-founder of the National Trust (UK National Park Service)
- Beauty does not linger; it only visits. Yet beauty’s visitation affects us and invites us into its rhythm; it calls us to feel, think and act beautifully in the world: to create and live a life that awakens the Beautiful. A life without delight is only half a life. ~John O’Donohue