Gentle snow falls on Stowe on this first Monday of the New Year. Colleagues arrive for work, looking rested. Smiling comes easy today. The notion of a fresh start eases the mind. We ask each other how we spent New Year’s Eve. I am surprised at how many of us opted for a quiet evening with immediate family, or with just a few friends. We value the simple things these days. This is good.
There was a Twilight Zone marathon on one of the Satellite channels. A friend invited me over to watch a few. Uncommon way to ring in the New Year. We then watched early evening fireworks from the third floor window. The view from that elevation is especially breathtaking as it looks down toward a valley, the foothills beyond and the majestic mountains that take root there. It was perfectly quiet, as winter nights tend to be. I wondered how often I actually notice the details of my surroundings.
Beauty is a very subjective thing. You may favor Impressionist art in your home while your spouse prefers the Expressionists; you may need to feel surrounded by flowers while your neighbor prefers manicured lawns. Your budget determines where you live and the extent of your material wealth. However, your dwelling feels like home when you can recognize yourself in it; when upon landing on the corner of the living room, or the view outside the window, your eyes suddenly feel refreshed, reassured; even restored.
Like tuning forks that share the same note also oscillate in perfect unison, we seek the landscapes, cityscapes, colors, décor and architecture that resonate with us. In this sense, you can be assured that even a person who thinks of him or herself as unattractive, and even those who make the six o’clock news after robbing a bank, are most likely surrounded by beauty.
When beauty enters the eye or gently brushes against the ear drum, it has the ability to restore deep roots to the moment. For a second, a precious, measurable and palpable second, even our thinking stops. We are fully present, immersed and hopeful. Have you noticed? Perhaps we instinctively surround ourselves with beauty as a reminder.
What do you see when you look out your window? What do you see upon stepping out of bed in the morning? What beauty lies there that you perhaps have not noticed in a while, or have even forgotten altogether?