There are many things that changed after my brother died of cancer. I found myself on the brink of many changes in my life. I quit my job. I reevaluated my faith. I expanded my view of God. I found peace in a way that I had never experienced peace prior to that event. I learned a lot about myself. I changed into a person that started to live everyday with gratefulness, grace and joy.
I learned to love the warmth of the sun on my face. I inherited a horse and became partners with this magnificent animal. I found beauty at every turn and in some ways beauty saved me. I started learning Jazz piano and I immersed myself in the beauty of a well built chord for hours upon hours each and everyday.
Many people who were close to me didn’t understand my disinterest in things that were so normal prior to this event. I was fortunate to have a husband who supported me at every turn and twist of this recent journey.
Beauty taught me to be grateful.I found myself immersed in the colors of paintings. I would pause looking at the Colorado front range and be so stuck by the beauty of the mountains that my heart would swell with gratitude. I would roll my window down and instantly be drawn into the feeling of the wind in my hair, I was thankful for the wind. I would stand with my face towards the sunrise with the cool brisk morning air pecking at my cheeks and be so enamored with the beauty around me that my heart would break into a song of gratitude.
I look for beauty in all areas of my life and I never cease to wonder at the elegance that surrounds true beauty. The simplicity of a color, the clear tone of a jazz chord, or the silence that rests at the end of a sonata. The soft driving beat of a samba, the splash of color in a sunset and the soft feel of flannel PJ’s on a cool winter evening. These simple pleasures are all beauty in the true sense of the word.
I noticed that beauty draws me into gratitude. But that there is something beyond beauty. Something beyond gratitude. There is a silence behind the beauty. I have experienced it at concerts after the music stops and before the applause starts, n those beautiful moments of silence God becomes so real to me that I am upset when the applause starts.
I notice it when I am looking at a painting that speaks to me. It takes a minute, since I have to first silence my mind and I have to listen, somehow I get past the exquisite beauty and the gratefulness, eventually, I am drawn into the silence of the picture. I also notice it as I gaze at a sunset, or as a flock of geese rise in unison with their descending reflection in a crystal still lake. You know those moments when you dare not speak for fear of ruining the moment. Those times when you can feel God with every fiber of your body.
I no longer run from silence. I look for it. I crave it. I pursue it. I pray for the silence beyond the beauty.
“Be still, and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10.