This I Believe
Beauty. That’s what’s gotten me through. In nature, in people.
I’m looking around right now at my living room with my miracle roses and the tin shelf, the old handmade violin and dark blue berries I robbed from the roadside. I could look at this room forever, I think. It’s my beauty for pain–beauty for uglines that always seems to rise up, especially when I do something strong.
And nature? When I see vivid scarlet gold sunset streaks I come close to wrecking my car from staring. For me it’s God’s crookedy scrawlings, “Dear Becky, there’s hope. There’s hope.”
On long walks when I’m hurting, it’s the trees that comfort me… so strong and silent –shy sometimes–and sober–except in the fall when they dance. So sweet in their infinite differences. So good, so true. So ALWAYS…
I can’t even tell you how I love children or why I feel so kindred to them. I feel like I am twinkling when I see a child doing something honest or delightful. And maybe I am because the sparkle that passes between us lights and warms and fills my every cold and lonely cavern–for a little while.
And I’ll tell you, I feel almost the same with animals. How is it that I’m just sure I know what they’re feling and they know I know? I have to smile at myself–I am rich with these feelings. Everything speaks to me. Is it because of God? Is it because everyTHING, everyONE reminds me of God? God–in every goodness? In every beauty? In every truth? In every loving action?
I am thinking abut James right now. It was James who changed my brakes when I couldn’t afford the shop. James who knelt beside me and with long dirty nails, carefully brushing the dirt from a half-inch leaf, said with a gentle scold, “You don’t want to suffocate this, Becky.” It was James who surprised us both with a car wash and wax, and mother-henned us before our trip. James, with his dangling ciagrette, his whisky-in-a-quart jar, his grape soda gift on a hot trip to the lumber yard.
It was James who slept on my porch when he and his boys were homeless. It was James who said (after house sitting), “Thank you for trusting me–” James–with his garage full of merchandise–James now sitting in prison for rape. It wasn’t me he raped. But he could have. He so could have.
I don’t know how I can have both feelings for him–horror and sorrow for the woman he raped–I KNOW that feeling–and love for the goodness of this man, the potential of the man he was meant to be–that shined through so often for me and blessed me in a thousand ways.
In a dark abyss, I thought I saw a shadow. I think it was God. Beauty.
This I Believe.
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