Seeking Beauty . . . When It Seems There Is None to be Found

I go for walk, looking for beauty on a dreary cloudy day in a strange neighborhood while on a girlfriends weekend at a hotel.

By the time I wind around the hotel, to the back corner of the parking lot, I have all but given up.

“Lord,” I say,” there doesn’t seem to be any beauty in this dreary suburban landscape of buildings and parking lots devoid of grass or trees.”

“You just haven’t looked long enough,” He Gently responds.

And then I spot it – a park bench leading to a path along the hotel property and parking lot.

I’m thinking this looks hopeful – hopeful that is, until I am standing at the beginning of the dreary-looking dirt path. In some places it’s downright ugly.

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A few steps later, I spy it “beauty, at its best “ bright blue berries gracing the dark evergreen of the Juniper bushes lining the pathway on one side . . .

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. . . and on the other, tall dried stately grasses left over from last summer, filtering the view and dulling the roar of cars and trucks whizzing by on the busy highway.

The path continues, becoming more picturesque as it continues to wind along the edge of the property, the still-busy sounds of the highway to the east, muffled even more.

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Rounding the corner I am treated to the unexpected sighting of a lake with a willow tree standing guard in her winter nakedness and a sign that says “No Fishing, No Swimming, No Wading.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t say “No Looking.”

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My twenty-minute walk stretches into forty. Arriving back at the hotel entrance I notice the dried grasses and the bright red berries on the tree I’d ignored on my way out the door forty minutes earlier.11_H_2016 blog - Page 006

Seeing with new eyes, I murmur on the way in, “Thank you, Lord, for this beauty, reminding me of your ever-present presence.

* * *

The beauty I saw that day, lingered with me throughout the next week as the clouds remained hidden and the days continued gray and dreary as they had for days before and one day, I added “Find Beauty Today” on my to-do list.

Here is what I found later that day.

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Lake Opeka, Beauty in Winter

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to look for beauty before we convince ourselves there is none to be found.

Where have you found beauty lately? I’d love to hear from you.

12 Replies to “Seeking Beauty . . . When It Seems There Is None to be Found”

  1. I felt the uplift in my spirit while vicariously taking that walk with you. What stunning discoveries you made! And what a perfect metaphor for “seek and you shall find!” A beautiful and inspiring post, Carol!

    1. Same thing happened to me, Nancy. I got excited with the first spotting of the path and the juniper bush, but seeing that willow tree around the bend was the best. I go to a lake and often sit under a willow tree, especially in the summertime. thanks for stopping by.

  2. Find beauty today. Amen!! Thanks for taking me on a walk. Just received dire news and your shared beauties tempered my dismay, reminded me to keep my eyes open especially today

    1. I am glad my experience was an encouragement to you and Lord, please be present in to Laurie in ways she understands and senses your presence, Amer.

  3. Carol, taking that walk with you was refreshing to me too. It does require a re-training of the eyes ( of the heart that is) doesn’t it? My favorite portion was the idea of the dried grasses ‘filtering the view’ & muffling the sound of the traffic. Great stuff! Celebrating with you His beauty that is everywhere to be found,

    1. It seemed to say to me even in the noise of life, there are pockets of places to be found. My friend always told me you can always find a “closet” to be with God if you look for it!

  4. Oh, Carol….this made me smile so much. Truly, when we are looking we will see. I was tickled by the note on your ‘to-do’ list “Find Beauty.” we should make that a hashtag 🙂

    1. I am always amazed at how beauty can be found if we look for it. Even when something seems awry, often there is a counter part of beauty. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. thanks for stopping by Jerie. It was delightful meeting you at the reunion and seeing the beautiful art you create. I hope to visit you sometime and see it is real life.

  5. Thanks for the timely reminder, I will certainly be looking
    For more beauty in the messy, busy, sometime chaotic day of homeschooling. 🙂

    1. Wendie, how delightful to hear from you. Beauty can be found and sometimes we have to look hard! thanks for not only stopping by but for saying “hi.”

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