Days of Awe, Day Four: Beauty

Budai only has three legs, but he still thinks life is beautiful.

Beauty is easy to know when you see it, but hard to define.

Is it a tranquil, balmy day in spring or fall? A ferocious and awe-inspiring winter storm? Is there still beauty in a hot, limp day like this one (where I am, fall already came and went, and summer is back with a vengeance!)

Near me, the cat sprawls in complete abandon. A not-yet-finished crocheted sweater shows a chaos of color and form. My desk is…well, my desk is a mess, but on it is a stack of my published books, and when I consider the decades of dreams and work those represent, that’s a thing of beauty!

No matter what else changes, the tiny sliver of new moon in these days of contemplation always hangs in the sky like a quirky smile.

How do you choose to build a kingdom with beauty? Could thoughts of and plans for beauty influence and change what and how and why we build? Could utilitarian and economical also be beautiful, whether in housing or tools or electronics? Could we look at each other and watch for beauty in a face, a smile, a heart, instead of watching for what is wrong?


To ponder: When was the last time you looked at your own face in a mirror for another reason than to make sure nothing was wrong—no spinach in your teeth, no crooked hem, no gravy on your shirt? Have you ever deliberately smiled at yourself?

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