January 18: “Beauty: Opening Our Eyes to the Beauty that Surrounds Us”

Cardinal_fGratitude + Simplicity = Harmony

Seems like a pretty simple equation, doesn’t it?  Do you find joy in the simple things?

“It is in the details of life that beauty is revealed, sustained, and nurtured.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sarah talks about lighting candles and using pretty goblets for dinner.  I share her appreciation for these things.  I am a “liberated” woman, but I love creating a haven for my husband to come home to.  I light all of the candles in the kitchen and family room, set a pretty table, and have wine ready to be opened when he comes in the door.  I know his day has been challenging, and I love knowing that this will be a welcome greeting for him when he arrives home..  Of course, it works both ways.  I am blessed with a husband who takes equal care in being a loving mate, which only makes me want to do more in return.

“In offering gratitude for our real lives, we discover how to change them for the better.  As we embrace simplicity, we learn that less is truly more.”  SBB

Not everyone is domestic, and you don’t have to be.  There are other ways to enjoy simplicity in life as well.  Another of my favorite things to do is to sit and admire our landscape.  Danny takes pride in our yard, and it shows.  The pool area and entire yard are filled with beautiful tropical plantings and bird feeders, and I love to just sit and take it all in.  It is especially pleasurable when a cardinal feasts in the birdfeeder outside my studio window.  It doesn’t matter how many times I see a bird in that feeder, it feels like a remarkable miracle to me every time.  Birds are often in my gratitude journal.  Not only do I feel joy in seeing God’s little miracles, but when I see a cardinal it reminds me of my grandmother.  She loved cardinals.  Actually, she was a wonderful teacher in the joy of simple things.  When I was growing up, I can remember her calling us to look out the window every time there was a full moon.  Here I am, 52 years old, and I still remember Grandma Moon gleefully pointing out a cardinal in her feeder, or calling us to look at the moon.

What are some simple things that bring you joy?  Are you teaching the young people in your life to appreciate them as well?