Dose of Beauty

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” 

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~

Just as we need food, water and oxygen to live, so also do we need beauty in our lives to survive and thrive.  Exposing ourselves to beauty on a daily basis helps maintain good mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. Beauty brings consolation in sorrow, affirmation in joy and the sense that life is worth living.  If you have been through a difficult emotional, physical or spiritual experience, exposing yourself to beauty in its various forms (art, music, nature, etc…) can be extremely healing.

20110705-042619.jpg“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”  

~ John Muir~

 

Plato believed that beauty is the sign of another, and higher, order.  The experience of beauty calls us to the divine and our need for beauty is part of our nature.  The Creator knows how important it is to our well-being to keep our minds on what is positive and uplifting.  He exhorts us to this in what has become one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

“Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” 

~Philippians 4:8~

This is not just God’s equivalent of a Hallmark card sentiment. Just as eating right and exercising are critical to good health so is having beauty in our lives. When we are sick we often reach for medicine with the hope it will make us well.  I propose that in order to maintain good health in all capacities we need a “Daily Dose of Beauty.” With this in mind, one of the intentions for www.paleospirit.com is that it serve as a forum for sharing beautiful thoughts and images.

I urge you to make sure you find something beautiful to appreciate every day and make it part of your routine.  It does not have to take a lot of time and effort because beauty is all around us no matter what the circumstances. Stop and smell a flower, take a photo of something simple and make it beautiful, listen to wild birds singing for five minutes, read a story of heroism, look at a beautiful piece of art or listen to a musical masterpiece – anything to get your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of beauty. Daily Dose of Beauty Archives

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  

~e.e. cummings~


 

Daily Dose of Beauty Archives

Recent Posts

A March Snow and a Recipe: Seared Scallops with Strawberry Relish

Snowy Cows | photo by Lea Valle

This is the year I finally learned to love winter.

In Texas the seasons are: almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas. So my first winter spent in the northeast U.S., those many years ago, was a shock to my system mixed with wonder and joy at the novelty of the abundant snow. That year the winter weather lingered long into spring leaving me feeling, novelty or not, I might have made a mistake in venturing out of the familiarity and warmth of the south.

Snowy Trees | Photo by Lea Valle

But subsequent winters were far milder. Sometimes, much to my surprise, I found myself disappointed there was not MORE snow. It was a creeping, unconscious adaptation to a climate with four distinct seasons – winter not the least among them.

Snowy Willow | Photo by Lea Valle

This year the winter seems never-ending. The roads have potholes, the school vacation days are quickly disappearing from the calendar and the longing for spring grows stronger every day. But no amount of complaining will change the inevitable coming of winter snow. And this year I finally have learned to accept and embrace it. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but when others bemoan the next storm, I am quietly rooting on the snowfall.

Snowy Fence | Photo by Lea Valle

In spite of the inevitable inconveniences of the season, there is strange comfort in the quiet, forced sequester at home while the snow envelopes the world around us. I look forward to the quiet drives around town drinking in the peaceful landscape blanketed in newly fallen snow. I relish visits to the neighboring cows who seem only mildly perturbed at the cold, strange white matter covering them and their home fields. Even the time sitting at my desk peering out at the peaceful falling of new snow is a time to appreciate, rather than curse, the essence of winter in all its glory.

Cow with Sign double

The cleanup and annoyances that are all a part of the onslaught will come later. But for a while I resolve to be like a child in awe of the proverbial “winter wonderland.”

Boy with Snow | Photo by Lea Valle

Taking in the world made new, camouflaged as a cloud.

Snowy River | Photo by Lea Valle

So if you find yourself in the dead of winter lamenting the snow, take a moment to reflect. Because if you have even a hint of the mind of a poet, you might agree that newly fallen snow, covering the old, is not only beautiful but a sermon itself on the beauty of repentance.

A March Snow Poem with Photo

Seared Scallops with Strawberry Relish Continue reading

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