I was reminded how beautiful poetry is as I started a little poetry unit for my children in homeschool this week. It caused me to pause. I don’t tend to take time to stop and really see beauty as I rush through my tasks each day. I am so focused on getting things done that I seem to miss opportunities to notice the little daily blessings that God has given me.
I am burdened by the many needs, fears, and struggles I see in my community and in our world; they can seep into my emotional state and attitude, causing me to keep my eyes down and my heart preoccupied. But beauty can break through, like a sun beam shining into a dark room through a break in the curtains. In those moments, I suddenly glimpse it; I feel it—like a sharp intake of breath. The kind of breath that fills you up and immediately makes your eyes water because you had emotions just below the surface that you didn’t even know were there… It is a reminder of what I already know, of what can be, of what is… This world, which is so hard, is also beautiful. And sometimes, the solution isn’t to fix things, but to stop and see beauty, and so come back to hope.
Today I see and hear the beauty of life in the little chicks that are in a box in our family room, as they eat and grow and chatter each day. I see the beauty of love in my child’s sheepish smile when I say “Lets do a re-do” after she makes a negative comment about herself, and she knows that I am for her and with her. I see the beauty of nature as I drive past almond orchards near Woodland, CA, and as I read the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson personifying a “Brook” interacting with the landscape around it: “I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance / Among my skimming swallows; / I make the nettled sunbeam dance / Against my sandy shallows.” I see the beauty of human beings in the resilient words of Langston Hughes’ saying “I’m still here,” in the face of prejudice and injustice.
Then of course, there is the beautiful poetry of the Bible, pointing me to the beauty of God himself.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.Psalm 121: 1-2
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.Psalm 52:8-9
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
I will thank you forever, because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
Let’s look up in the midst of our busyness. Let’s have eyes to see beauty!