I position the hot red-hued Adirondack chairs on our back deck facing each other. The hubster lights the Tiki torches and pots of citronella for ambience. We’re eager to relax as night falls over the pine, birch and maple trees on our three acre slice of heaven.
This night is different. It’s cool and crisp for a summer evening in the Midwest. Normally humid, our French door windows are fogged with condensation.
As I gaze up at the sky from my chair, I delight in the pastel white-blue clouds blended with the deep indigo blues.
We’ll see no stars tonight. Just as well, as I close my eyes and listen for sounds in the distance. The pooches settle in on the bright red and white patterned rug nearby.
I ask hubby, “What do you hear?”
“The pool, the people, the crickets…”
Dogs bark in the neighborhood adjacent to ours, cars putter slowly down the gravel road, and a plan’s engine zooms overhead. Through the window screen, I can hear the kittens playing, shuffling in the curtains, meowing inside.
“Just close your eyes and listen,” Russell says. “Just listen for the sounds of the night.”
My eyelids become heavy as I reflect on the beauty I discovered in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this week. Creamy yellow and dreamsicle sunrises over Copper Harbor, vivid red orange and blue violet sunsets silhouetting kayakers in lake waters, endless waterfalls, pebble beaches, and an eagle flying above the shoreline as day breaks.
I believe beauty is where you find it. And it’s everywhere in this land, in every form.
It’s present in the smiles of my two pooches as the wind whips through their silky hair as we tool around town in my Chevy Equinox.
Sabrina (copyright Sheree K. Nielsen)
It’s in the faces of the two sweet kittens we adopted…and their mother.
It’s in the eyes and weathered face of the 86 year-old woman I converse with at the airport, as she tells me how much she loves her children and grandchildren.
There’s beauty in the crisp morning breeze as the fan pushes air downward, and the comfort of the feathered pillow caresses my head.
Or in the ruby-throated hummingbird, wings fluttering, as it sips nectar from the lavender magnolia in my back yard.
Beauty is present in the hugs from my long time friends that shower me with affection after I’ve been out of town.
There’s beauty in the smiles of the baristas at my favorite coffee shop as I walk in and they ask, “Hey Sheree, how ya doing?” Of course I know all their names. We’ve had a beautiful relationship ever since that coffee shop opened. As they pour those perfectly pulled shots of espresso into a mug, they leave time for latte artwork in the shape of a heart or a leaf.
I guess you could say, there’s a reason to find beauty in just about everything. I’m looking at seven of those reasons right now – my husband who is intently gazing at his computer from the leather chair, and my six fur kids playing, sleeping, or exploring.
Stop what you’re doing right now, close your eyes, take a deep breath and just listen and observe. You’ll be surprised how much beauty you’ll find in whatever you see and hear.
Peace out and love,