High winds left the plants on the west-facing balcony disheveled and torn, taking life and beautiful blooms with them. They will recover with care. This gale-force unrest in our country tears at all of us. The noise, chaos and destruction rend the good along with the bad. How we react is as unique to each of us as our fingerprints. Creativity, peace and productivity in my spirit bow to the news cycle. It is my nature to choose to be insulated rather than active. And why in the world would a blog on living beautifully have any merit when so many more important things like a pandemic and conflict dominate every hour on every station?
The words of two beloved friends are on my mind along with those sad plants. C. sat in my living room years ago, overwhelmed with national opportunity and completely directionless. We talked about the critical discipline of turning off the noise. A recent Instagram post from another said, “Enough.”
They feel like rudders to me. I’ve let the noise slow my steps to do what I love to do…it has become an excuse. Enough giving in to the lie that loving beauty is somehow base in our culture today. In April, when I stomped on this blog, I mentioned Kristin Hannah’s epic “The Nightingale” (2015) about occupied, war-torn France in WWII. On p537, the author tells us that upon returning home after the liberation of the Ravensbruck camp the heroine closed her eyes and savored the beautiful commonness of the day.
Today, I am unpacking boxes trying to find a porcelain sugar bowl to complete a summer coffee service. J. bought orange liquor for my indefatigable desire for that third “special” cup of coffee. The result will be pretty.
Today, I will keep on believing that seeing every man as made equally, elegantly and uniquely in the image of God counts, and that kindness and care are windbreaks for the soul.
What have you stopped doing? What has spirited away your best intentions? What will you do today to restore the bloom?