Beauty in the Simple

Sometimes I can get discouraged by all the encouragement out there.

Every day, there is a pin or a post about never giving up, letting our dreams be bigger than our fears, never limiting our vision. And I picture all these people doing huge things and influencing thousands of people.

And I feel small. And sometimes question whether I have anything to offer that will matter. But then I remember her.
Beanie Lady

Every sunny day, this precious 90-something woman in a bright yellow coat and a beanie copter hat walked down a sidewalk by my house, plastic bag in hand. I would often see her standing, pointing to something not visible to my eye. Or picking up garbage. And I must admit, I thought she was a little, well, crazy. Until I met her.

One spring day I was out walking and saw her in the distance beckoning me to come. She was enthusiastically pointing at something, and I honestly didn’t see what she was pointing at. “It’s a leaf! It’s not just a bud, but it’s blossomed into a leaf. Isn’t that just beautiful!” This 90-year old woman who has seen the signs of spring for that many years was still struck by the beauty the season. And I would have missed it.

I stopped to chat with her the next time I passed her by on my walk. She was picking up garbage and putting it in that little plastic bag. “I love beauty so I go out and pick up the garbage I see on my walk. It helps this place look better.” I asked her if I could take her picture. She seemed shocked that I wanted her picture, but she smiled big and walked away happy. I walked away changed.

The next sunny day, I looked for her. And the time after that. Sadly, I never saw her again. She never knew the impact she had on my life. She appreciated beauty, noticed the little things, and did what she could with what she had. It’s really so simple. She taught me to look for the leaf amongst the buds, to have eyes that perceive beauty, and create more beauty wherever I happen to be. Simply, to do what I can with what I have.

I didn’t read that in a book, a pin, or a post. I learned it from a 90-year old woman picking up garbage in a beanie copter hat. She was truly a woman of perception, maybe even an angel with a sense of style.

Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception
resembles more than anything else
that celestial source from which we all are come.
Michaelangelo

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