Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding beauty every day

This morning I ran across a tweet I really loved, retweeted by someone I follow.

As I often do, I clicked over to see who Lisa Adams is. The very first words in her profile? "Living w/ stage 4 breast cancer."

Stupid, ugly, lots-of-bad-words-here, cancer.

Lately, it seems like no matter where I look, there is hard, painful stuff happening. Anxiety rises up in me, as it feels like everything is lined with razor-sharp edges. People are hurting. Suffering. And I feel guilty looking away, but for my own sanity, I have to. It is not because I don't care. I do. But what can I do? Tell me, and I'll do it. I give money to help with research for the stupid, ugly, lots-of-bad-words-here cancer. And I give money to charities who try to make life better for those who are suffering, both overseas and at home.

I do what I can, though it never feels like enough. And then I think of Lisa's plea today. "Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can't find it, create it."

People probably wonder why I post lots of flower and sunset pictures on instagram. Do you know why? Because they are beautiful, and because it's one small way I can bring some beauty to the world. We each need as much beauty as we can find, because God knows there is more than enough ugly out there. The ugly is everywhere. Those of you who have been following the news this past week know we don't have to look far to find it.

But really, we don't have to look far for the beauty either. It's everywhere, too. And every day, I seek some out, because it helps me feel better. It reminds me that things aren't hopeless, though at times it may feel that way.

Yesterday, we went to the gorge to get away for a few hours. It was wonderful. Quiet and serene. I could practically feel my soul being restored, breath by breath, as I walked amongst the giant trees that have stood there, guarding the precious land, for hundreds of years.

It will be okay, they seemed to whisper.

I always try to enjoy the journey and not put too much emphasis on the particular destination, but it was pretty wonderful to come to this beauty after our one hour hike into the woods.

Still, I thought later as we drove away, toward a favorite little drive-in hamburger/ice cream place we like to eat at after our hikes, it's easy to find beauty out here. I need to be better about recognizing it in my every day life. In those moments that are easy to take for granted.

Lisa's words were a reminder of that today.

After our hike, we had to wait in a long line to place our food order. Long lines are not very beautiful. Waiting is not very fun. But this place is known for its amazing ice cream cones. Someone didn't know you should never order a large cone - the small cone is large enough! Everyone in line gasped and/or laughed when the person behind the counter handed this lady her large cone. Pretty spectacular, right?

I hope you can find some beauty today.

If you're having trouble, go have an ice cream cone. Ice cream is always pretty beautiful in my book.