continuing in beauty

as much as i want to give up on this seemingly odd practice of looking for, inviting beauty into my life these days; it's needed.  dark torrents of depression are only kept away by a weakening levee comprised of anti-depressants and prayer.  so i need to remember who i am and why i'm here.  and i need to seek beauty.  it is one of the more important things i want my children to see of God, and for them to understand that the mysteries of beauty in the world and in themselves are deeper then physical fragility.  

i read it here: 

In his presence are splendor and majesty, in his sanctuary power and beauty
— psalm 96:6

my heart shifts and is compelled by her words and her young life: 

Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons
— Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

i start to cry because of his words, touching that deep place in my being, saying perfectly what i believe:

and for more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil than, you could say, with a piece of soul. if somebody suddenly asks me, “where’s your home?” I think about my sweetheart or my closest friends or the songs that travel with me wherever I happen to be.

and I’ve always felt that the beauty of being surrounded by the foreign is that it slaps you awake. you can’t take anything for granted. travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love, because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked ”on.” suddenly you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world. the real voyage of discovery, as marcel proust famously said, consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes. and of course, once you have new eyes, even the old sights, even your home become something different.

movement is a fantastic privilege, and it allows us to do so much that our grandparents could never have dreamed of doing. but movement, ultimately, only has a meaning if you have a home to go back to. and home, in the end, is of course not just the place where you sleep. it’s the place where you stand.
— Pico Iyer: Where is Home, TED Talk

and what are all of these saying?  they are beckoning me to listen, to observe, to feel.  the waves calm and the skies lighten.  i see the beauty in what a young girl did, how her parents cried in her near-death.  malala is brave and loves her God.  she seeks to bring life to others through education.  she is a mover.  and we can say, that is holy.  that is sacred.

as for pico iyer, i feel a similar recognition of the beauty in the foreign.  that is what compels me to love this place.  to love the desert.  to love this world we live in.  because the world is full of beauty, like the sharp aromas of spices in the souq, there is intrigue and color and newness mixed with appreciation.  and he goes on to call out my aches for home by simply saying that home is a place that we stand in.  it is beneath my feet.  can i accept that?  it seems to quiet the worry and the longing for a different place to be my home.  so i think i can.

and why would i pray if not to sit in the beauty of God?  to be still and quiet long enough to understand the sacred in my life.  the array of beauty in my days.  for that spectrum is a gift.