Beauty surrounds us. We just don’t notice it. We are always looking elsewhere. “I’d love to go to Japan.” “Paris is on my bucket list.” “What I wouldn’t give to see Angel Falls.” Those things are amazing, yes. But look around you. Can you see the beauty in the details?
The picture I used for this article is a great example. It is a tree on my college campus (not one that would generally be described as beautiful). The white blossoms burst from pink buds like popcorn. I think I was the only one who stopped to take it in.
Beauty can be found anywhere if you look for it. I guess that it is an endless childlike curiosity that births it: always looking for dragons, finding the creek as a moat, seeing a dog as Cerberus. It is an appreciation of natural art, the paintings of the Heavenly Painter.
Beauty is a projection of the heart. A beautiful heart cannot help but see beauty everywhere. It finds the shimmer of a slug to be no different than the luminous palette of Leonid Afremov. It tastes the sweet, rain-laden air as one relishes a drip of honey. The homeless man is no street urchin, dirty and unkempt, but a soul, a diamond pushed back in the earth, in need of being found and cleaned once more.
Beauty does not see the dressing of the body, the makeup of the face, but sees instead the adorning of the soul with love and good deeds, the true makeup that makes a face beautiful in its joy. True beauty does not lie merely within the flower but within the roots. It is the unseen that gives things their beauty. Only the heart, not some mental ascent to physical aesthetics, the very term stiff and musty, can see beauty.