The Price of Beauty

pexels kristina paukshtite 712876 resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something has devoured my flowers.

I suspect it was the deer. A family of deer (buck, doe, and two fawns) have been coming to the parkish place behind my apartment for a couple of weeks. They are beautiful, and wild, and tame, and charming. They have no fear of humans, or their dogs, though if you approach they will grudgingly move on.

They come most often in the late afternoon, and I can see them as I sit writing. Sometimes I find them hiding from the sun under a large pine tree in the front, as I walk out to get the mail. The fawns are a few weeks old at most, and I can see their legs trembling still as they stand and munch the grass, or the leaves that have fallen during the frequent summer storms.

I had planted the flower seeds sometime in June, in the 10x4 patch of ground that serves for a garden in front of my porch. I don’t recall what kind of flowers they were. I had ordered a packet of seeds for flowers that would attract butterflies. They had grown to about 8 to 10 inches tall, the largest with broad oval-shaped leaves, handsome and not at all delicate. They had not flowered, so I don’t know what kind or color they would have been. And now I will never know. '

When I woke this morning and looked out, all of the leaves had been eaten, leaving bare slender stalks standing like small green telephone poles, or an invasion of tiny slender aliens. Perhaps they will grow leaves again. But I doubt it.

I was angry at first – these are the first of anything that I had planted myself (though honestly I did little more than disturb the ground and sprinkle). And water faithfully, as instructed. But now, I suppose I can’t blame the deer; they have offered fair trade, beauty for beauty.

Perhaps beauty is the price of beauty, always a trade, beauty like energy being never created nor destroyed. The law of conservation of beauty. Perhaps that applies to many areas of life, as well, all things in balance on the seesaw of eternity.

Perhaps. But until the deer start hovering delicately over my garden like butterlies, I will regret the loss of my flowers.

 

 

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite: https://www.pexels.com/photo/blue-white-and-red-poppy-flower-field-712876/

150 Hits
2 Comments

Beautiful Things

Jackson Lake 3 cropped 2Recently, I subscribed to an internet program that is supposed to help with relaxation and meditation, using images of nature accompanied by peaceful music. Lots of flutes. I like to listen while I work; it cuts the silences of working from home.

I was reading one day, listening, glancing up occasionally to see what beautiful thing was on. Suddenly I felt sad, but I wasn’t sure why.  After a while, I realized that I was sad because I would never actually see the beautiful things that were on the screen. Except on a screen. I may never visit a beach in Thailand at sunset, or the Alps at sunrise. Because of time. Because of distance. Because of money. Because of age or health. It is world of beautiful things but our time here is short and for most of us our resources are limited.

And then I thought, yet here I am now seeing these things on television at least. That is seeing of a kind. Some of them I might have guessed at their existence. But many I would likely never have known about, except for this seeing. And if the images in this program are beautiful, there are many more beautiful images, stunning and extraordinary and strange, shown on TV and the Internet these days, on channels dedicated to them.

And not just natural beauty. Art is more accessible than ever before. Major museums are putting images of masterpieces within the reach of everyone at a click or two. And music also. Sites stream Bach and Mozart, Schubert and Prokofiev (my personal favorite), and so many more, many I have never heard of. Fifty years ago― no make that one hundred years ago, I forget how old I am―you would have had to attend a concert in Oslo or Vienna or New York to hear them.

This is a miraculous age of beautiful things, offered to us wherever we turn. I’m sure that they are more beautiful to experience in person. I would rather see them from a concert in Oslo, an evening at the Met in New York, or flying over the Alps at sunrise (okay, I might have to close my eyes at that one).

But even in seeing them in this removed way, they are still beautiful. And I can see more of them this way than I could possibly see in a lifetime. That’s a gift, and something to be grateful for.

775 Hits
1 Comment

Tree Song

I don’t know why the caged bird sings. But I think I may have finally figured out why the others do.

I take walks every day down a wooded path behind my home. Sometimes so many birds are singing it sounds like a choir. Other times there are only one or two at each turn of the path. Occasionally the songs sound like a dialogue, sometimes a Bach canon. But most often the sounds are clearly ecstatic, a brimming forth of some secret joy.

I believe I have discovered the source of that joy. Each bird is singing about how beautiful its tree is. How delicately shaped each leaf as it twists in the breeze. How the broad canvas of the whole creates ever evolving shadows on the ground. How the Fibonacci architecture of the branches leads right up to the sky.

Birds never sing about what time they have to get to the bird feeder, or whether they need a bath, or the bird next door, or even that tree they saw two weeks ago. They only sing of the beauty in front of them.

Each bird sings in its own language. Birds are very smart; each knows all the languages of all the birds. But when they sing of trees they sing in their own tongue, the one they hold in their heart.

And when they fly to the next tree, birds sing about how beautiful that tree is. And I agree with them.

I have never seen a tree that was not beautiful, from smallest sapling to startling senior. And unique – no tree the same as any other– even the aspen trees (which reproduce by what is called root sprouting and are in a sense one tree) are genetically identical but never quite the same in appearance. I wonder sometimes if  the beauty of trees has something to do with their uniqueness—and if we were more aware of it in humankind, we might see more beauty in each other.

Do the trees listen to the birds? I think so. Do they appreciate the praise? I’m not so sure. The lives of trees seem unconcerned with birds, or squirrels, or humans. They have their own purposes in their long lives.

What beauty do trees sing about?

I doubt we will ever know.

1488 Hits
3 Comments

The Architecture of Trees

The architecture of trees fascinates me.

How do the branches know how to grow?

Complexity theory?

Fibonacci Sequences?

Artificial intelligence?

A complex algorithm it must be.

In searching for its own light, the branch serves the tree.

What does the branch know of the tree?

The result seems always the same:

Spare beauty against the blue.

1827 Hits
2 Comments

Latest Blogs

    A short visit to my father turned out to be another blessed moment with him. Asleep at midday, I sat beside him in silence, holding his...
I had a dream that when we die, the story of our life is added to the universe. A good life becomes light. A bad life becomes dark energy that sends ...
                            Something has devoured my flowers. I suspect it was...
    The thunderstorm donates its wares On highly indiscriminate grounds Till finally in the slight depression Where the reeling hills conve...
"And therefore sit you down in gentleness And take upon command what help we haveThat to your wanting may be minister'd."As You Like It   Al...

Latest Comments

Stephen Evans The Price of Beauty
06 August 2022
The didn't seem to bother the rose bushes when they were there, so perhaps I should plant some again...
Rosy Cole The Price of Beauty
06 August 2022
This is so disappointing. The summer seems to be abnormally short these days, at least it does in th...
gr8word As I Like It
21 July 2022
Very generous! Thanks for posting. :
Monika Schott PhD The faraway land of the house and two cows book RELEASED JULY
11 July 2022
Thanks Ken. It was finally released last week! ?