Two words jumped out at me from the page of a magazine: beauty therapy. I had to write them down on a scrap of paper. I have been saving this scrap of paper and came across it yesterday. The article these words came from was about beauty care for the body, but the meaning that struck me that day was quite different. What I was thinking about was seeing beauty as a therapy for the spirit.
I remember passing through a sleepy town in eastern Oregon for lunch. I was immediately struck by its lack of beauty. The restaurant we stopped at was monochromatic. As we ate our lunch by the window, I looked out at the unremarkable houses that lined the street and noticed that while all was tidy, there was not one flower or garden or planter box, nor any colorful elements, no whimsy, no personal touch at all. The lawns were mowed very short. There were no people outside in their yard. I felt a melancholy shift come over me.
I remember thinking, what if I lived here? I imagined that I would plant a yard full of flowers and herbs, have a bird feeder, wind chimes, an arbor and colorfully painted yard furniture. I would add some colorful shutters to the windows and put a heart wreath on my front door. I would be outside in the garden often. I would sing.
You see, I need this beauty around me. And even if I were poor, I would start some flowers from seed or at the very least recycle my food scraps and grow a glorious compost pile! By the way, I think composting is beautiful, bringing such dark, rich life back to the soil. Yes, somehow I would find a way to bring beauty into my world.
This brings to mind the movie It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart playing the affable George Bailey, and how we got a glimpse of what the world would be like when he wished that he had never been born. Without him, the town became ugly and uninviting. He truly changed his whole town by being the kindhearted person he was, bringing love and beauty into the lives of all around him.
We do effect our world in little, seemingly insignificant ways. I believe that planting a flower or creating something beautiful is a noble and high calling, yet is an accessible one. Even a child can do these things. I believe that my art should reflect my view of life and living. And to me it reflects the beauty that I see in nature. This is what inspires me, and what I want to share with everyone who cares to look at my work.
I need to be surrounded by beauty, immersed in its essence. I can’t live without my beauty therapy. How about you?
Thanks for reading my thoughts today ~ Karen