Friday, June 3, 2011

Never Forget to Cultivate Beauty

I have been sick with a virus I caught from the boys this past week: coughing, stuffy head, sinuses so sore my teeth hurt, and even more exhaustion than normal. What little I normally accomplished was forgotten as I spent day and night on the couch taking my prescription cough syrup with codeine every 6 hours, trying to stay hydrated and eat what little I could stomach.

This morning the cats decided to go exploring on the kitchen counter. Suddenly I heard this huge bang and the sound of broken glass. TJ, one of our almost-grown kittens, had managed to knock down a huge cutting board, casserole dish and my Bonnie Hunt mug. Everything was intact except for the Bonnie Hunt mug that was in pieces all over my floor.

While picking up pieces I glanced out onto the deck and saw my poor Mother's Day hanging basket, completely devoid of moisture and looking pretty dead. I remember thinking to myself the last two days that it would need some water soon because we hadn't gotten any rain lately. Of course, the moment I turned my head the thought was gone.

So we return to this morning and my poor, poor hanging basket. My beautiful flowers looked dead. I carried the basket into the cool kitchen and placed it in the sink where I sprayed the soil and every inch of the plant itself willing life back into it. While spraying my poor plant I realized that the last few months I had not been enjoying the beauty in life. A few nights ago I forced myself to sit out on the front steps and look up at the night sky. Our night sky here is breathtaking. Instead of soaking it in, this beauty free for the taking whenever it is clear, I usually ignore it. Instead of watering and cultivating my beautiful Mother's Day hanging basket I had ignored it as well.

A few hours later I dragged myself back into the kitchen to get something else to drink and was so blessed to find my flowers had sprung back to life. They had been on the edge; I knew that.

I then realized that I had been letting my infirmities overshadow all of the beauty in my life. There is much to be found and enjoyed. It takes just a teeny bit of effort and there is the night sky with millions, nay billions of stars painted on a background of space. My beautiful hanging basket blooms and blooms with just the occasional watering. It doesn't take a lot of work, but if I neglect the beauty in my life I let ugliness creep in and win.

I choose to cultivate beauty!


  1. "I choose to cultivate beauty! " Good for you! Hope you are feeling better.

  2. What a great analogy, Michelle! And a great way to put it all in perspective. We all need a little water from time to time. Thanks for writing this. It really brightened my day.