BEAUTY has a way of catching us “un-guarded.” Like the exquisite beauty of the recent snowfall that adorned every tree, pipe, ledge, car—with as much as 11 inches of fresh snow. Beauty seems to draw us out of ourselves, so that we simply stop in wonder. We experience a kind of selflessness. We leave our computers and know ourselves de-centered! Actually, we are not the center of the universe, though sometimes it takes falling snow to convince us of that fact! Witnessing a loving act, seeing a child, reading a poem, looking at a painting, or peering into the face of a white rose - all can do the same. We are drawn into the question: “From whence comes all this Beauty?” And when confronted with it, we identify with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Oh, world I cannot hold thee close enough. . .” We may marvel over a lone musician playing Beethoven in a Barcelona plaza, and wonder at the way in which he can attract, one by one, a Flash Mob of listeners. From whence does this Beauty arise? Why can it knock us out of our routines – and out of our self-centeredness? Does it remind us that we, though fractured, are still capable of such enjoyment? And then, how is it that we find ourselves desiring to be beautiful as well, and desiring to be creators of Beauty? May each of us find at least one such moment today!
Renee Domeier, OSB
Sister Renee wrote this blog after the snowfall last week, not as the current one is still falling today.