Whatever else can be said about winter in northeast Kansas, I have to admit we have some pretty neat nightscapes. Even though it might not be worth a three-mile hike, the view of a clear sky, bright stars and an intense moon shining across an expanse of snow is definitely worth a short trip outside. I paused on a couple of trips between the garage and house last night to take in our view.
Above the dark forms of spruce and oak and the dense spread of the cottonwood tree, a three-quarter moon shone. A few thin traces of clouds etched long soft shapes in the clear light. It was certainly a bit too chilly to pull up a lawn chair and sit sipping iced tea but I was glad for the moment and grateful for the view.
Beauty has a therapeutic function in our lives, I think. It’s something more than diversion, something deeper and more important. Beauty reaches into an ancient and delicate part of us and speaks both grace and gratitude. We sense a notion of greater power, greater presence, greater purpose. There is reassurance and inspiration, something gentle and profound, majestic and simple. Something in beauty brings a transcendent soothing, like warm water on sore muscles.
Even if we don’t drive to an art museum or schedule a vacation to Hawaii, we should be alert for these moments, these scenes, these interactions. Shadows on the snow, roses in the rain, shifting strands of color in a sunrise. And above those, the beauty of kindness, decency and tenderness.
In regard to these, we should not only be appreciative viewers; we should yearn to become gifted artists.