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Glimmering Moments of Beauty

November 30, 2012

I wrote an article recently where I articulated a feeling I’ve had for a long time. No matter which era we live in, our heritage,  background, or status in society, every human being experiences occasional moments of beauty. There’s a lot of struggle in life, but I think it’s those glimmering moments that help us get through.

Of course, you have to be open to receive them. On Wednesday, I forced myself to wake in the dark house and set off on my morning walk. I was rewarded when I reached the park and saw the full moon glowing through the trees, like a gentle, bright overseer. People all over the world wake, sleep, and fret, and the moon still glows.

Later that morning, on the train, a boy stood up quietly and motioned for the woman who had just gotten on to take his seat.

On my way to lunch, I passed an older woman in a long coat and hat who just arrived in the city. She stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and looked up, marveling at the height of the tall glass skyscraper across the street.

My daughter, with her flash of red hair, makes up songs off the cuff, the same refrain over and over in different intonations: the trees blow, and the wind blows, and the cars blow, too.

And then there’s my son, the boy of my heart, whose dark amber eyes are the largest I’ve ever seen. He brought his writing folder home to show us. Each week, he focuses on drawing a particular event from his life: a play-date with his friend, going across the monkey bars for the first time, sitting at Quaker meeting. It’s a simple, visual, meditative journal of the world through his eyes.

There’s me, too. Some weeks feel too full, and I feel forced in different directions, never able to settle down. But when I’m in a good place, when I notice the moments of beauty, I can spread warmth and light, which spills out like poetry over the course of each day.

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