I took this photo during sunrise one of the first few days of the trip. My eyes were focused on the sun rising over the hills in the background. I felt a little silly when I realized that I didn’t even notice the “junk” in the foreground until I looked at the photo later.
I’ve thought about this photo often in the days since. As you can tell, I seem to find time here, not just to watch the sun rise and set, but to think.
One of my little peeves is how we often, as a culture, isolate beauty. We create areas of beauty separate from areas of work or areas where we live. Consider healing gardens in a hospital (rather than making every room a healing atmosphere for patients), green space in an industrial park or even protected national parks.
We do this with people as well. We inadvertently isolate ourselves from those who are difficult to deal with or who remind us that there are less attractive aspects of life. We create separate spaces for people with learning differences, physical challenges, or any other unpleasant situation through special classes, homes and hospitals.
In my two weeks here, I feel like the beauty and the ugly are all intertwined. Sitting in the beautiful healing garden, you can hear the activity in the men’s restroom. Looking at the hills, you can see the construction materials. People with illness mingle with people who are more than well.
Coming from the culture I do, I realize that I wonder, why did they build the restroom next to the gardens? I suppose I could turn that around and ask, “Why not?”
Back to the area in the photo. Some of us would focus on only the beautiful background, some would focus on the foreground, some would see it all and get annoyed that the foreground is ruining the background for them, some would even arrange the photos so that you didn’t see the foreground.
Tonight, one of my fellow travelers showed me a photo of his property. I saw a blue tarp in the woods and asked what that was for. “That covers my construction materials,” he said. He admitted that he saw the materials in that same area (pictured above) and was tempted to cover them!
I don’t feel like any approach is better than the other, just different. I don’t even know which I prefer.
And then I got this quote today:
“I’m beginning to think peace is something we made up to keep us from being satisfied with all this luscious chaos.”
-StoryPeople by Brian Andreas
Maybe I just need to sit and be happy in the chaos of it all.
I wish you beauty along with anything that might feel unattractive, ease along with anything that feels hard, and satisfaction and smiles along with any chaos. And always, much pure love.