31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 4

I walk in the evenings.
I walk in circles,
eighty-five paces to be exact,
eighty-five paces around my driveway,
round and round I go.
I count in decades,
and reverse every ten,
until I get to thirty-six,
which equals one mile
and a half.
I walk fast most of the time,
fast enough so as not
to be able to sing.
But every ten rounds,
I slow it down for two.
I am old, you see.
And I got scary sick a couple of  years ago.
I realized that to be well,
to be remotely close to well,
I needed to M-O-V-E.
So walking each day became
my place of commitment
to health.

And I began, very early on,
to connect one kind of health
with another. 
My circle-walking became my
primary time of prayer
each day.
I walk out the door,
and I say,
“So Lord, whose face will you
bring to mind today?
How can I join with you in 
the work of the kingdom tonight?”

And I say, “Thank you.”
Over and over again.
Thanks for the beauty of this place,
this home,
this town,
this part of the world.
These people I love,
this work I do,
this health I enjoy.
The green of the trees,
the pink light glinting on the 
foothills,
the setting sun and the shadows
it creates. 
And I breathe in the beauty.

I even force myself, from time to time,
to give thanks for these flowers.
These flowers that I do not like.
We have sixteen large bushes of these,
all down the fence at the side
and across the front of
our property.
Planted long ago by a previous
owner, I endure them. 

When their whiteness glistens in
the sunlight,
I say thank you.
But it is always a hedged thanks.
A constrained,
reluctant
gratitude.

These flowers are poisonous you see.
Every bit of this bush is poison
to human creatures.
Scratches fester,
eyes itch,
and if you eat one?
An immediate trip the ER.

Somehow that knowledge makes
these beautiful things
far less beautiful to me. 

And that is a good reminder,
especially as I jump into this
31-day-thing of celebrating beauty. 

Not all that is beautiful is good for me.
And I need grace, wisdom, 
and courage
to sort it out,
to be wise. 

Because wisdom is beautiful too, don’t you think?






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Comments

  1. Diana,
    Thank you for sharing pictures of your place in this world. I love that I now have a vision for the space you inhabit. It makes you that much more real to me. And I can’t help but picture you walking the circle of your driveway, your own version of a prayer labyrinth, whispered prayers upon your tongue, your white hair a crown of glory, a very modern version of a desert mother.
    Thank you for calling out the beauty.

  2. I love the prayer walk around your driveway. Such grace…to be all there right where you are, to notice, and give thanks, and seek His pleasure. This is not a little beauty, it is dipping into the wellspring and sharing one life-giving sip at a time. 🙂

  3. Yes, dear one. Wisdom is beautiful.

    (And I detest those oleander, too!)

  4. They are the worst. I tolerate the deep pink ones used as freeway center dividers and might feel better about the ones in my yard if they were a different color, but I don’t think so. They’re blooming pretty heavily right now and they look kind of lovely. But only kind of. :>)

  5. Believe me, I do NOT live in a desert. I live in a very opulent, luxurious place – and I love it. Not so much the opulence, but the beauty of it. This is my favorite home we’ve ever lived in (let’s see – I think there have been 9, all told), and I have slowly learned to accept it as the great gift of God that it is rather than being embarrassed by the neighborhood and its wealth. This is where my job was located, so this is where we lived…and are choosing to remain as long as we’re able. Time will tell…

  6. Cindee – for some reason you are not showing up in my disqus comments here on the blog. You show up on the comments page, but not here and not in my inbox (well actually, this morning, NO ONE is showing up in my inbox). But I thank you for coming by with such words of encouragement. Still praying for complete healing and tolerable treatment programs!

  7. Winsome Woman says:

    YES, wisdom IS beautiful! A sobering and appreciated truth too . . “Not all this is beautiful is good for me.” I also love combining physical exercise with spiritual. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for coming by, Winsom! Appreciate your taking the time to comment.

  9. That comment about the flowers–that’s absolutely chilling.

    Still, I wonder, do they keep away deer? That may not be a problem where you live, but it’s the first question people around here ask.

  10. Yeah, it’s a spooky plant. And I have no clue if deer would leave it alone or not. The pink ones are really quite beautiful to look at – but they are quite, quite poisonous to humans. A friend got scratched by one once and landed in the hospital!