I gave him a sideways glance and said, "Hey, Drew. You wanna join in on the challenge? Knowledge, Health and Beauty?" (Wink, wink.)
He laughed and dismissed me. "Beauty?" He was not inclined.
But then I suggested that "beauty" comes in many forms. It doesn't all have to be rosebuds and sunsets. "What about that three-pointer at the buzzer?" I suggested. "Or a freshly grilled, juicy steak?" We had just finished playing catch so I added another: "Or the sound of the ball smacking squarely into your glove?"
I doubt he'll keep a checklist, but I did get his attention.
Pursuing beauty this summer will look different for each one of us. I was recently inspired by a friend who is ever-so-clever at making her husband feel loved. She planned a darling surprise patio meal for just the two of them and went all out with the menu and ambiance. This is beauty.
I have another friend whose voice is absolutely gorgeous. When she sings, I am surrounded by beauty, and I don't want it to stop.
Beauty is the mother who shows up to every single performance of her daughter's first play (yes, that would be my mom). It's the sister who knows my heart in a way that only a sister could. It's a stroll on the beach with my grandmother. It's the friend who prays for me and writes powerful words of encouragement. It's the friend at the piano, the friend at the canvas, the friend with the knitting needles, the friend laying out spreadsheets, the friend canning green beans and applesauce. It's the friend with the calico squares and the friend with the gemstones that will somehow morph into beautiful jewelry.
It's the friend who teaches me about wildflowers and the friend who makes me laugh until my sides split. It's the friend nursing her newborn, the friend organizing her home, and the friend with a special needs child who joyfully gives and gives and gives. It's the photographer, the gardener, the dancer, the actor, the preacher, the chef. It's the bargain hunter with a knack for decorating and designing and the ability to create something from nothing. It's the nurse, the foster parent, the seamstress, the sculptor, the model, the musician . . . . It's the writer of words, the spitter of poetry, the creator of story. It's the teacher of children, the encourager of hearts, the older guiding the younger . . . .
Do you see it, my friend? It's you. You're beautiful.
You were made for beauty. You were made to seek it, to create it, to enjoy it. You are, after all, made in the very image of the Most Beautiful One. So how about letting each day become a celebration of that beauty!
Want to join the Knowledge, Health and Beauty challenge? We start on Friday . . . . I'd love to have you on board!
Paintings: John Singer Sargent, Degas, Waterhouse