I’m using our Monday School time to introduce a new feature on my blog called Beauty Break. It was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Karen Swallow Prior.
Beauty is to the spirit what food is to the flesh. Frederick Buechner
Mostly we live in a routine, which is good and necessary. But routines can turn into a mindless going through the motions. If we aren’t careful, we forget to notice the beauty around us.
A Beauty Break is a spontaneous reminder to pay attention, a chance to stop and observe when something catches our eye. To look and see and wonder, then praise the Maker of beauty and the Giver of gifts.
Even a fleeting glimpse of beauty offers joy. Like when a delighted 4 year old points to a tree in the park and squeals “Look!” as a squirrel scampers to the top.
For a moment we can enjoy the intricate design of a seed, a burst of color in a sunset, a towering granite formation, or the creative expression of an artist. Maybe Beauty Breaks will help us learn to be still and pay attention.
I noticed this sweetgum ball in the middle of the trail where I walked last week because it was green and extra spiky. I picked it up and walked around the park several times as I rolled it around in my hand, switched it to the other hand, rolled it around, and switched again. I liked the way it felt in my hands, but I’ve stepped on plenty of sweetgum balls in my time and I’ve never once liked the way they felt to my bare feet. This one would have caused an extra bit of discomfort.
There are hundreds of tiny seeds inside a sweetgum ball. Scientists discovered not too long ago that the aborted seeds contain shikimic acid, which is used to make Tamiflu. No need for them to gather the pointy ornaments though. They found a way to make it in a lab.
Thousands of them will fall in the coming months wreaking havoc on small feet and annoying the meticulous yard owner.
We’ll just have to watch our steps.