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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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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa November 30, 2012 at 9:05 am

This is beautiful and simple! Last night I looked up to see a similar moon and was awed by the majesty I beheld.


Lindsey November 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

gosh, I love this. I so relate. So much beauty. Thank you. xox


Justine November 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Amen. So much beauty – we just need to be open to them.


Scott December 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

I’ve been following this moon the last several nights and mornings as well. It was great to see Jupiter in the sky sitting right next to the moon early in the week and then to see the Blood Moon (aka Hunter’s Moon or Sanguine Moon) rise early last night. I was grateful to have been able to lift my eyes off the highway of life and bear witness to these wonders all week long.


Nina December 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Beautiful, Jana.


Heather Caliri December 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I think one of the things I love about having kids is just this: being able to take in those moments through their eyes, and have someone I love so much be part of my own, all day. It happens with a spouse, too, but there’s so much more wonder there with kids.


Hallie Sawyer December 11, 2012 at 12:31 am

This is so beautiful, Jana. Finding small moments and casting your own glow upon them is a wonderful way to wander through life. Thank you for this great reminder.


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