How Do You Make the World More Beautiful?

One of the joys of living in a region where we have all of the seasons is experiencing the many moments of beauty that emerge, the sudden splendors that come but pass quickly in their time – the ruby blaze of autumn leaves; the diamond sparkle of fresh snowflakes; and the gilded petals of the forsythia as they are awakened by the lengthening days of spring. With our summer sun there are more moments coming and going at a rapid pace. This week our lupine are blossoming with their plumes of lavender and pinks. I am always reminded by these purple spires of the children’s book, Miss Rumphius. She is tasked with one instruction: you must do something to make the world more beautiful. Of course she chooses to travel and plant beautiful flowers, and the book’s illustrations could be sketches of the Maine countryside. The lupine are a very literal beauty, and I am grateful to witness this each year. When I see them, I am reminded to do my part to bring beauty to the world.
Literal beauty is only one kind of beautiful. I think beauty can not only be how something or someone looks, but also a state of mind that comes from harmony within ourselves. I think this comes naturally as part of a self-care routine. When we prioritize ourselves by eating well, drinking water, working out, and getting rest, we radiate beauty and wellness. When we are loving ourselves this way, beauty shines out from us and our actions like a beacon. When we are taking care of our needs, we are able to create the space to bring beauty into the world.
This weekend I thought about my to-do list and how to spend my time in a meaningful way. The most important thing to me was to be of service to others. This was how I could make the world more beautiful. My parents have just arrived to their summer home, and I decided my time would be best used helping them get their garden going. It was a great joy to share this moment as summer emerges, turning over the earth and planting their flowers. I’m fortunate that my folks have always set an example for me of being generous with their time and helping others, and by trying to make the world a little bit better by contributing. Even this weekend my dad said to me, “ The only things you can take with you when your time here is done, is what you have given away.” Digging in the earth this weekend was much more than adding a splash of color to the yard. It was about adding beauty through the gift of time and service. What is your Beauty? Are you taking care of yourself in a way that brings you harmony so that you can radiate beauty? Are there actions you can take that bring beauty to the world in a way that is meaningful for you?

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