Thursday, December 08, 2011

describing indescribable beauty

I was bracing myself for the cold and the snow as I went out to start the van and put water in the radiator for Dirk to drive the youths to the bus stop. Another thing happened instead ~ I saw Beauty. The eastern sky was a-light with pale blues and orange-pink clouds. The snow was bouncing with these ethereal colors. The wind, though brisk, wasn't unbearable. It was then I knew I needed to immerse myself in this wonder and walk. Also I figured I could burn a few calories walking in the cold. (Weight loss hint: I once lived in a place without central heating. It was the most weight I ever lost in my life. You burn calories just trying to keep warm. Also you keep moving.)

Once everyone was dispatched to their appointed destinations, I bundled up and went out to greet the day with a mindful walk. Just me and the elements. Ice encrusted snow covered everything all fresh and new. My feet felt the slightly-yielding ice with mud underneath, crunching as I walked. Oh, the breeze! It was refreshing, scintillating to breathe in this cold winter air. We are human animals. We need to be in nature. The human body needs fresh air, to feel the earth (shod or barefoot) beneath our feet, to feel the weather as it is outside instead of the simulated weather produced indoors. (With the appropriate precautions and weather gear, of course.) So my Human Animal embraced all my senses could perceive.

First, I headed west down the main road. I didn't feel like walking all the way down the hill so I stopped at a point on our road where I could see the lake and the mountain across the way. The mountain was reflecting the pale blue and peach colors of the sky in the east. In that space, in that moment, there was awesome beauty. Free to anyone who would take notice. Priceless. The same was experienced when I made my way east toward the sunrise. Walking the trail through the gate, I saw deer tracks, fresh from much earlier this morning ~ so much more attuned to the Earth and Her changes. The trees were coated in ice catching the sunbeams in prismatic color, twinkling brightly. The sun, a little higher in the sky, started burning off those pale colors that first enticed me out to play, but was no less a wonder to see.

It is an artist's job to notice things. It doesn't pay well and really anyone can pay attention (that too is free). It's what an artist does with what they've noticed that matters. I didn't have a camera with me. I doubt any photo would have done justice. My words fail here. All I could think of was how I might replicate the colors I saw and use them in a painting. Or if I could just dedicate a page of my journal to nothing but sky with this morning's colors.

It's what you do with the Beauty that counts.

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