On my way driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon in the bright sunshine this week, I was stopped by beauty; so stopped that I actually turned around less than 20 miles from that rare sunny day on the coast.
I had been basking as I drove, in the loveliness of Spring turning to Summer; the beauty of things growing.
But I gasped at the beauty of something broken.
It was a magnificent old maple with limbs splaying wide in all directions--except one.
At the heart of the tree was a jagged tear where an enormous branch had recently broken. The branch lay there heavy and still. The gash on the tree was open and raw...and breathtaking.
My first words were, "Oh my god! How beautiful!"
In this culture, where we're encouraged to love the new and the young, what I was struck with was this:
deep, abiding and lasting beauty takes time to form. It takes injury and then the change and even flourishing after injury to form. The winds blow us into beauty.
It is wabi-sabi. "Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all."
And wabi-sabi is in all of us.
I think of the deep, expressive, not-always-beautiful wrinkles on the cheeks of my father's mother that I longed to inherit, and that now are my own.
So what part of life shows in you that might take one's breath away? What have you grown around? What is your uniqueness? Your strength after injury? And how might you allow the ones around you to nurture your love of this part of yourself?
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I'm Valerie Lyon, the Mojo Recovery Therapist.