“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
The other day I was taking a contemplative walk around the neighborhood with JB and we both stopped as we turned a corner and stared. The maples, elms and oaks we screaming in colors so vibrant and varied that every attempt to capture it with a camera was thwarted. The whole scene was like a living Parish painting. I felt so ALIVE to simply stand there and breathe it all in.
Two days earlier, I’d walked that same street – and didn’t notice a thing.
Carl Jung said, “Hurry isn’t of the Devil. It IS the Devil.” For my part, when I’m stressed out it’s the busybusybusy thing that grabs me first. Reflecting on these leaves I think the first thing I lose in that state of mind is Beauty. Everything flattens out to just trying to survive, just trying to solve the next problem or close the next deal. I loose my ability to be in the moment – the only place beauty lives.
And it’s not just the gob-smacking colors of a Willamette fall, it’s the entire range of moments and people and things. I loose track of just how lovely my daughter is, how brave and fun my son is. I loose track of how stunning my bride is. I even overlook the majesty of my God.
The problem is that the busybusybusy is something my flesh is subject to and it doesn’t really care about beauty, it cares about comfort. It’s my soul that literally feeds on beauty. It needs those golden sunrises and misty avenues to keep something else I tend to loose in the stress – perspective. My flesh is simply unable to utter a phrase like ‘This too shall pass”. That kind of thing has to come from a deeper place, a place that looks out over the vineyards, the larch, the 1000 year old river and fights back the sound of fury of today’s urgent noise.
More and more, I’m convinced that beauty is a truer thing than time.
It’s a higher revelation than facts.
To loose beauty is to loose Truth.
And to that end, the more I can understand Beauty as nourishment for a better part of myself, the less the Devil will come around.