Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey about Glimsen. Here’s a little gift from me for doing so.
One of my favorite comments to the question "How do you think I can improve Glimsen?" was this one: “Write more stories that mention your husband. I love those.”
Turns out, it was my husband's comment. Ha!
Many of you said you’d like to see more posts about unexpected beauty, and others suggested writing about things that aren’t traditionally considered beautiful but are still beautiful in some way. Both of these comments reminded me of something I saw four years ago.
Mart, our daughter, and I went to the High Museum of Art to see the Girl With a Pearl Earring exhibition. It's one of my favorites--truly stunning--and I’ll write about it in another post.
But afterward, we were walking outside in the plaza, past a small grouping of tables and chairs where some people were eating and talking. As I threaded my way around the tables, something on the ground caught my eye.
The interesting little scene stopped me: the grungy grate, the simple sticker, and the yellow leaf.
At that time in my life, I wasn’t taking many photos. When my daughter was younger I constantly took photos of her, but somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit. My husband has an eye for design and photography, and as she got older, so did she. But I didn’t think I did. Besides, my phone was always in the bottom of my purse, while hers was always in her hand and his was as close as his pocket. So I would get them to send me their photos rather than taking my own.
Standing over the grate, I looked up to see where they were, but they had walked on ahead.
This is silly, I thought. You want the photo. Take it yourself! So I dug my phone out of the dark recesses of my purse, leaned down and took a picture of the grungy grate--and so much more.
Both the sticker and the photo are crooked, but it's still one of my favorites. Taking this picture was one of those moments in time that becomes even more important later. It was the beginning of something—of me paying attention and capturing whatever catches my eye.
It was a bit of unexpected beauty outside the art museum. And it made me smile.
Do you see beauty in the photo? Maybe in the sticker’s message or design? The color and symmetry of the leaf? The geometric design of the grate? The neutral palette that serves as a foil for the brilliant yellow?
The grate was an unexpected, but perfect, spot for such a sticker because not everyone would see it, and those who did see it might feel like they'd been given a secret message. Like they shared a secret with the person who put the sticker there.
I feel that way about beauty sometimes. When I come across it, I feel that God and I have a secret. He knows that I love beauty, and because he's a personal God, he uses it to touch me in some way. Of course, beauty is not just for me; it's a gift for all of us. And I, for one, am deeply grateful for its existence and for the opportunity to share it with you.
Two questions today: When have you come across unexpected beauty? Or have you been touched by something that didn't seem beautiful at first but, upon closer inspection, you found that it was? Leave a comment or email me. I'd love to hear about it.