Its Own Kind of Beauty

The older I get, I'm increasingly convinced that I find what I'm looking for in life.  If I focus on the negatives, I find them.  I notice the traffic, the gray skies, the ripped seam in my kitchen linoleum that's growing larger, or the irritating customer service exchange.  Life's full of inconveniences and imperfections, after all.

But if I focus on the good, I find that, too.  Sometimes I just need to look for it -- really look for it.  What about this day, this moment, is good?  What mental snapshot can I take of something beautiful or interesting, right here and now, even in the midst of chaos, mess, or monotony?

I've been exercising this muscle -- cultivating the habit of looking for good -- because it doesn't always come naturally.  Naturally, it's easy to gravitate toward the doldrums where one day rolls into another, then another, and we don't remember living them.  But when I search for good moments, they're there, waiting to be noticed.

I may not be a fan of winter weather, for example, but there's nothing frigid or stark about the sun setting through the trees as my daughters and their friends carve sledding tracks into the snow.

And I certainly appreciate the streamlined aesthetics of snow-dusted stacked wood.

And what's not to love about kids on fence?  I mean, it's kids!  On a fence!  They climbed up on its rails and stood silently from their perches to watch the cows from our neighbor's farm lumber across the field adjacent to our backyard.  I stood in the background, wondering what thoughts the kids were thinking, wondering if these types of everyday moments -- watching the cows from our backyard fence -- will be remembered when they eventually reminisce on their childhoods.

Winter has its own kind of beauty, after all.  I don't automatically see it when I'm zipping cumbersome jackets, mopping puddles left behind from boots, or brushing against the gritty, salt-and-dirt covered side of my car.  But the beauty is there.  The good is there.

It's just waiting for me to notice it.

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