There’s a bench in my flower garden. Its’ glistening wrought iron has worn and rusted over time, and the polished hard wood has faded. It’s splintered and chipped. To the naked eye, it’s falling apart. It’s aged. I should probably throw it away, and buy a new one. But today, I looked at it differently. I found beauty in the aging.
There’s beauty in remembering the first time I sat on that bench with my husband and talked about raising a family. How we looked across the yard and decided to place it in the larger of the three flower gardens. We faced it towards the house, and towards the spot where we’d eventually grow a garden. The old bench holds beautiful memories.
Beauty means different things to different people. Being raised in an Italian family, we learned that food was beautiful. “Look at that beautiful ravioli!” or “That’s a beautiful lasagna” – and men & women find beauty in different things. Men comment on cars, boats, anything with a motor, “That’s a beauty!” and women have a vast meaning of beauty, from their children’s test grades, to their friend’s new shoes. Beauty is everywhere. We are surrounded by it. Daily. And yet we sometimes neglect to see the beauty. We get so wrapped up with our lives, our jobs, and yes, even our kids, that we don’t see the beauty.
The house we’ve lived in for the past 16 years, has become too small for this family of 5, well 6 if you include our puppy. The stairs leading from the 1st to the 2nd floor is too narrow, and inevitably one of us falls down them at least once a week. The hardwood floors are worn from football cleats, baseball bats and basketballs. I complain about it. I try to redecorate, try to remove the scuffs. But then I remember the first time John came in wearing those cleats, and ran around the kitchen table, jumping up and down after making a great play in football that led to a touchdown. Or Patrick & Lila running down the stairs on Christmas morning – that look of excitement upon seeing all the presents under the tree…There’s beauty in all of that.
There are so many things in our daily lives where we can choose to see beauty. It is a choice. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can choose today, this day, to see the good.
Don’t be jaded by society, by social media or the media in general. Turn it off. Close the newspaper. Remember that’s not the whole picture. There is good. There is beauty. If you aren’t seeing it, be the change that brings it.
Find your bench.