This morning as I sat down to begin my workday, I was awestruck at the beauty of Vancouver’s winter sunrise: as I peered from a window through some trees’ naked branches, pinks and yellows and blues filled the vast sky.
Lately I have reflected more and more about the power of beauty—and the importance of seeking it out in our daily lives. Several years ago, the Sisters of Life published their newsletter with the theme “Beauty Everywhere,” and they wrote,
“The beauty of nature has the power to lead one to the healing truth of God’s goodness and love. Before a sunset, snow-capped mountain, a golden meadow, whatever the scene might be, if we allow ourselves to pause from our busy lives and begin to listen, we are drawn to a mystery accessible to all, a truth that confirms our identity: the wonder and goodness of existence, of being.”
In a world where terror and violence sow discord and death in places like Nigeria and France, it can be tempting to become overwhelmed by the ugliness in our midst; but more than ever, we need beauty to draw us to the “healing truth of God’s goodness and love.” So several times a week I make a habit of reflecting on beauty in my day, and have found that when I become intentional about making these observations, I discover beauty truly is everywhere.
One time it was my 1-year-old niece tenderly holding her stuffed monkey and smiling, while caressing it and squeezing it close to her chest, showing that even at the earliest of ages we humans are drawn to give affection. Another time it was my sister who, even with messy hair and a tired body, radiated beauty as she got up early, after one of many short nights, to feed and serve and love her four children. Beauty.
Or another time, just two weeks ago, it was a choral concert by Motet (www.motet.ca). One singer in particular radiated such joy and beauty that as he sang of the heavens, to the heavens, I was drawn like a magnet to his inner light and just stared at him, smiling. Then there was the music he and the others sang—I have discovered there’s something profoundly beautiful about sacred music, and I think it’s because it takes us beyond this world, to another place, a reminder that it is that place which is our final destination.
Beauty. It lifts the soul and gives a moment of reprieve in this world of imperfection, enabling us to have perspective and to maintain peace amidst any storms.
So when today comes to a close, or next time you’re interacting with a loved one, pause and ask, “Where did you see beauty in your day?”
Stephanie Gray is an inspirational speaker who has presented across Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Ireland, Latvia, and Costa Rica. Learn more at www.stephaniegray.info.