Beauty fascinates and amazes me. It is the soft, mesmerizing melody that draws my spirit into deeper connection with something bigger. It whispers hope into my world. It is that breath of fresh air that I so desperately need to feed my soul. Ralph Waldo Emerson said and I quote, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting”. In my younger years, I missed beauty, in fact, I know now that I often walked right past it. Perhaps that is a stage of life that makes you appreciate the wonder and elegance of beauty later in life. My life was involved in feeding, dressing, schooling, and playing with my kids. Raising Children is such a busy time of life; it often seems as if beauty takes a back seat to that everyday buzz. I had three wonderful kids to nurture into adulthood. When I think back though, perhaps children exemplify beauty itself?
There is a great deal of beauty in children. They are amazingly beautiful creatures with so much love to give. They bring out and define the best of you. They cause you to smile as they discover new things, they teach you to laugh, to love, and to serve. There is nothing in the world that would make you want to go back to “before children”. I refer to this period of my life as BC and I rarely talk about it. I remember the beauty of their tiny fingers as they curl around your finger when they are babies. As toddlers, I remember the wonder in their eyes as they discovered the big wonderful world around them and their endless questions. I remember the softness of my child’s skin, and sweet cuddle, as they snuggled into me. I remember the moments when they tried to mimic their friends only to find that they had to be themselves. I remember the long discovery talks when they were teens, as they were still discovering their world and themselves and I remember the heartfelt hugs. As I think about it children are beautiful. They are filled with so much beauty that I would be remiss if I failed to mention them as beauty. I guess that as I raised my children, I was so wrapped up in the beauty of my children that I did not always appreciate some of the softer, quieter forms of beauty.
I heard the longing for this beauty in my own Mother’s voice after my brother died. She was telling the story about how she had to bed to stop her labor with my brother. She then paused and said….”I should have let him come early; I could have held him a little longer.”It is in the embrace of a child, the wiping of a tear, and the tender touch of a toddler asking for help, that beauty shines its brightest. The twinkle of discovery, in the eyes of the young, that reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment, the cry of a sick child that highlights our ineptness, and the overwhelming job of raising children that points us to the fact that there is something larger with which we need to connect.
Children are the whisper of hope for the world to come but they are also the whisper of hope for their tired, worn out parents. It takes but a smile, or a “love you Mom!”, to turn your day around. They are the spark that can keep you going in the face of insurmountable odds. They communicate the heart of the creator to their parents when they are no longer listening. They are love letters from the God himself. He dances as he creates them and giggles as he gifts each parent with their presence. Yes, Children are indeed beautiful. They are the very essence of beauty, God’s handwriting, and they are the whisper of hope. No, I did not miss anything while I was raising my children. I was so surrounded by beauty that I did not see some of the beauty of the world outside my home. My children shined beauty so brightly that other beauty paled in comparison. It was only as they grew up and left home that I was able to see some of the other beauty that surrounds my life now.