Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Million Beautiful Things

I was stirred recently by a story about beauty. Not beauty seen, but beauty playing its heart out while people walked by unheeding.

For forty-five minutes, a world-class violinist on his multi-million dollar instrument graced a Washington D.C. subway station with the intricate, perfect music of Bach, and of the thousand-plus people that rushed past him, only seven stopped to listen...

Something tugs at my heart when I ponder that. All but seven failed to see and hear, and in so doing, they passed by treasure unaware, realizing too late that they had forfeited a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How sad!

It's not that I blame the passers-by, or think them less valuable or cultured. After all, one doesn't go to the subway for recreation or relaxation. They were commuting--deadlines to make, appointments to keep. So they walked along unconscious. Rare beauty was in their midst and they did not perceive it.

Perhaps I would have been one who stood transfixed and let the music wash over me, feeling it lift me out of the milling crowd and into a different sphere while the world rushed by. I would like to think so. But I half suspect that the only real difference between them and me is that their failure to gaze upon beauty was recorded. Mine is not. There are a million beautiful things around me everyday, and I so often walk right past them, failing to see or hear as the tyranny of a time schedule of my own making propels me.

But I don't really want to be that way. No, I want to be one of the those that stop for beauty, whether it is the lacey design left in my cappucino cup after the warm, mellow foam recedes, the play of lights on a polished surface, the crunch of dry leaves in the creekbed or the laughter of a passing moment. How full our days really are of rarity and wonder. It's all around us! I want to step outside of my usual time-sensitive existence, stand transfixed by the small things that surround my life, all the riches of color, sounds, smells, tastes, textures; the nuances of relationships and the wonder of people, of cats and horses and singing birds; living in deep appreciation for beauty great and small. I don't want to come to the end of my days and my "to-do" list, and say, "Were there roses? I didn't notice...."

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