So often, the mud is so thick we stare only at our toes, to keep them one ahead of the other, and some journeys, the road is so windy and topsy turvy that we look only at that yellow line ahead of us to keep our stomachs right side up. Somedays, we sleep in the trenches of adventure, knowing somewhere is something spectacular but that today all we know is ordinary.
And then, so often, when we least expect it and so are most prepared for it, we look up from our toes and turn our heads from the yellow line to see something other than the trees and the mud and the beds made in trenches. And, in those moments, when our souls are so filled with the taste of a satisfied longing we were unaware of having, it seems like it doesn’t matter if we drop dead right there and then, because we know that if we live a thousand years we will never see anything more breathtaking than what we absorb like rain in that very moment.
Those views- be them mountains or lovers or togetherness or an ocean- they are remedies and epiphanies to awake our sleeping souls; to make us wonder why we ever questioned the journey would be worth it. And to stop, and notice, to let the balms of wonder and appreciation soothe our aching hearts, oh, isn’t this to live? And there in those moments- those heart stopping, mouth watering, forget to breathe moments, we become not only ourselves but ourselves with a purpose. In those moments, we are beholders of beauty.
They must be sandpaper, these moments, rubbing our calloused hearts, because they are not without pain or grief. Life, when most beautiful, is also most fragile, a reminder of the fleeting with a desire for the eternal. And the more we behold, and let into our hearts, the more our hearts are apt to bleed, but really, how little a price for a pliable self.
These views, these moments, these occasions so dear, wait to rain on us like a waterfall. But we, as beholders, must choose to see.
We must watch beauty grow and develop, point her out in the streets, sing her name in our homes and see her face in the mirror. We must disregard the ugly we are so prone to see, which grows like a cement cover over our hearts and suffocates our joy. We must know that as ugly dances with beauty, it is not a jubilant finale but a swan song, which will continue to diminish as our hearts learn to behold more.
At first, when we choose to say no to the ugly, it seems that true beauty comes so rarely. We take in those breath taking moments on top of the mountain and then continue looking at the yellow line, and keep our toes in order. But slowly, it seems, beauty grows like ivy, along our trenches and inside our shoes. And those moments, those ones that fill up our hearts to overflow with their supply of awe and wonder; those moments come a little more steadily.
Beauty, we discover, is all around us, just waiting to be beheld. And we see it a little more and a little more, first in nature, and then in each other, in wondrous, breath stopping moments. Then finally, one day, we are so familiar with it that we are able to look up from the yellow line and into the review mirror and behold it in ourselves.
How sweet the song the world will sing when we take our places as beholders of beauty.