Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Surrounding myself with beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
For example I think my dog Jackson is beautiful. The rest of my family (well maybe not Gillian) would strongly disagree. Adam regularly calls him "little asshole" and that is NOT a term of endearment. Sometimes when I look at him I get so happy that I get that warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart. Yes, I am a crazy dog person. Maybe I see his beauty because he is so attached to me and loves me more than anything in the entire world. This week cousin Cindy, who is a very talented artist, sent me a portrait she did of Jackson:

Just amazing, right?! I am not sure the photograph I took does it justice. I keep expecting Jackson to jump off the paper!  This is beauty. Not just because Cindy is an incredible artist and the work itself is fabulous. Not just because it is a drawing of Jackson and he himself is beautiful. More so because Cindy thought of me and took the time out of her days to create this gift for me. That in itself is beautiful. It just makes me so happy every time I look at it.

Today Sarah and I went and did a little shopping and out to lunch.  It was so much fun to sit and talk over lunch, and listen to her stories about college, and friends, and classes, and what the next semester might hold. I loved watching her pick out clothes and try them on. I appreciated her helping me in and out of the car and wheelchair, and showing compassion for me as I had some difficulty with some movement. This is beauty. It is time spent with my almost adult daughter, beautiful memories created, and moments to look back on when she goes back to school.

A few months ago I was looking through some old photographs, and found one of pure joy. It was from one of our many trips to Ocean City, New Jersey, where Ean was standing in the ocean just as the wave was crashing above and behind him. I couldn't really see his face in the photograph but his body reflected such joy - the image almost made me cry. I asked my Mom to paint this for me:

This is beauty. Not just because my Mom is an incredible artist and the work itself is fabulous. Not just because it is a painting of my beautiful boy. More so because my Mom was able to encapsulate that moment in time for me in such a way that every time I look at the painting I will feel that joy. She generously created that for me. That in itself is beautiful.

Gillian came home today after school and band practice. She plopped herself down in the living room where I was napping in my chair (oh my goodness, I love this chair!). She talked to me about her day and then after a while snuggled a bit in my lap. When Adam came home, she helped him get dinner ready. Beauty in the ordinary moments. Happy chatter, simple dinners, and smiles and laughter across the table. Ending dinner with a little chocolate cake didn't hurt either.

Beautiful Bella (and her family) brought us a bag of "love" just prior to us leaving for DC a few weeks back. In the bag were potted Amaryllis bulbs, not in bloom. We watered them well and left the plant on our kitchen windowsill. It should be noted here that I have a brown thumb. I typically kill every plant ever given to me within two weeks time. Maybe it was because I left it alone, but when we got back from DC the plant has grown considerably. Maybe it was because Gillian and Adam watered it, and I was just an observer. But this week the flowers bloomed:

Beautiful! Every time I look at these flowers A) I can't believe they grew to be this beautiful under my roof; B) I can't believe this color exists in nature; and C) I smile!

Last week I cleaned off my dresser. It was REALLY messy. I typically keep special photographs tucked into the edge of my dresser mirror. I grew up with my Mom always doing that, and I followed suit. Due to the messiness of my dresser, most of the photographs had fallen down. When I was straightening up, I found them, and tucked them back in to their rightful place. Pictures of as many school friends as we could fit into the photo booth from Jess and Justin's wedding; a picture of Grandpa Sol and Grandma Bea; a silly zoo picture of five year old Ean; me and my beasties; one of my favorite family pictures taken at Eli's Bar Mitzvah - Sarah's smile is dazzling! This is beauty! Memories that make me smile and reflect and happy.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.