The receiving end of beauty

I recently discovered Annie Dillard’s book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek which is something of a how-to guide to watching (as in seeing) nature. That’s where I read the above statement: We are on the receiving end of beauty. During a visit to a State Park I was mindful of this and watched even more carefully than usual.

I saw things I believe I would have missed before, like these two squirrels sitting on a porch of sorts high up in a tree.

I arrived fairly early in the morning, right after the park opened, and had the huge park largely to myself. On my way from one side of the park to the other I came across a family of deer. This was a first for me in broad daylight.

Even something as simple as these dried berries, so easily overlooked, have a beauty all their own. And after the bad cold spell in the southern United States in February I asked myself if the bruised leaves of our hedge still hold beauty. Add a little sunlight, and the answer is yes.

It doesn’t take much for something to be beautiful. A hollowed-out root ball reflected in water is quite amazing. A photograph doesn’t make it beautiful, it only records what is there.

Or a line of ducks flying across the sky:

The simpler, the better for me. Lucky the human who sees these things. Because we can only be on the receiving end of beauty if we open our eyes and minds to it.

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