Little Wads of Beauty

Little Wads of Beauty

One of my dearest, long-time friends, Marion, has an amazing gift for seeing beauty and possibilities in things many people would overlook. She’s expert at fashioning something wonderful out of odds and ends, scraps and remnants. A mutual friend calls Marion’s creations “little wads of beauty.” But it’s occurred to me that Marion’s “little wads of beauty” are really outward evidence of a manner of living, a way of being in the world – paying attention, noticing, savoring, appreciating.

A few weeks ago, I finished reading “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith” by Barbara Brown Taylor. Taylor writes: “The practice of paying attention is as simple as looking twice at people and things you might just as easily ignore . . . it is one way into a different way of life, full of treasure for those who are willing to pay attention to exactly where they are.”

Marion spent the weekend with us, visiting from Virginia, and her way of paying attention helped me to see and appreciate the boundless treasure and the “little wads of beauty” that surround me. Here’s a sampling, just from this weekend:
• a silver colander of freshly-washed blueberries
• meeting and getting to know someone new
• morning dew on bare feet
• one zinnia bloom and a few sprigs of thyme in an old glass spice bottle
• family members who know the stories of your life – the good ones and the not-so-good – and who love you anyway
• paying someone a sincere compliment
• chatting across the fence with the neighbors
• witnessing a little girl’s delight in petting a dog
• a just-mopped, shining kitchen floor
• sharing stories of childhood memories across several generations of a family
• holding hands with the one you love
• the last few drops of coffee from the pot, added to a glass of cold milk
• a dog that’s always happy to see you
• watching a funny movie with the family
• an iridescent green beetle
• a funny street sign
• a great big hug from a dear friend
• eating breakfast outside in dappled morning sunlight
• hearing the laughter of a loved one who really LOVES to laugh
• walking around the neighborhood with someone who has never been there and seeing what they notice
• the intricacy of a head of broccoli
• the comfort of being with someone who has known you for over half of your life
• a black and yellow bumblebee hovering above a purple coneflower
• conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a long time
• listening to a mockingbird’s repertoire of songs
• checking a book out of the library
• family members and friends who are willing to drive for many hours, just to spend a few with you
• the pungent scent of sprigs of basil and sage, rubbed between your fingers
• looking at old family photos
• learning the proper botanical name of a plant
• finding a new use for something you had planned to get rid of
• a well-told joke
• looking around a room filled with family and friends and realizing how much you love them, and they you

In “An Altar in the World”, Taylor writes: “I can set a little altar in the world, or in my heart. I can stop what I am doing long enough to see where I am, who I am there with, and how awesome the place is.”

The altar in my heart is filled to overflowing with these and many more “little wads of beauty.” I feel blessed and truly grateful.

Question of the Day:

What “little wads of beauty” are on the altar in your heart?

For inspiration, here’s a photo tour of a few “little wads of beauty”

Posted by Melanie Tagged as: city life lancaster pa peace

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