Susan's Thursday morning note June 19, 2008 Beauty in the moment. In gardens. In what is NOW. Creation. This moment. Eight Ways of Looking at a Garden by Nicole Krauss after traveling to Japan Excerpt from The Conde Nast Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places by Klara Glowczewska
Good morning! Have you ever seen a mother bird fly into a birdhouse near you with a berry in her mouth? I did for the first time this week. And, have you ever heard a mother bird lose her mind when a cat was within 30 feet of her little babies? I did for the first time this week. Amazing how fierce something so small can be!!! I can only imagine the scene in the next few weeks of the cat/birdhouse scenarios – but as I’m going to write on today, I will try to appreciate today’s beauty, without thinking of it as passing quickly away!
A new book sitting in our home – Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places. These are writings from Conde Nast Traveler, an American travel magazine, and a great book for having by your couch for when you just have a few minutes to read of an adventure. One experience is from travels into Japan by an American woman in search of ideas to begin a Japanese garden within her small yard. Eight Ways of Looking at a Garden by Nicole Krauss (traveling in Japan). Two times in her essay she referred to a Japanese gardener/scholar, Teiji Itoh. Both of her references intrigued me. I am not sure why this writing held my attention, for there still is not a plant that I haven’t killed.
A beautiful mind is essential to the creation of a beautiful garden. Send that quote to those you know that are great at loving little friends in flowerpots or who have “the touch”!
There was a line that she used later in her writing that stopped me. Again in reference to a quote by Teiji Itoh,
“It is easy to feel a little sad as one accepts its quiet, delicate beauty.”… Nicole Krauss states, “Now I understand that the sadness which comes from seeing something beautiful arises in part from the knowledge that neither you nor it will last.”
That reminded me of the phrase from Richard Paul Evans, “At times I wish it were within my power to reach forth my hand and stop the moment – but in this I err. To hold the note is to spoil the song.”
What moments are beautiful to you, that in the back of your mind you have the knowledge that the moment won’t last? How the beauty of the moment is passing?
Beautiful moments that must be captured in the instant of the beauty:
The subtle morning gift from God in various hues of orange in the sunrise this morning.
The missing front tooth of my son.
The two cats curled up perfectly interlocked – I can’t tell which little paw goes with which little friend.
The sword fight on the front porch between two little knights.
The still water underneath a little precariously positioned fishing boat.
The exact “right Susan” temperature on a morning walk.
The grin from my husband to my son the second a fish strikes the perfectly positioned lure.
The blush and shy grin of my friend telling me she will be absorbing the eyes of her new little one in 8 months.
The stillness of the morning when the only friends awake are little birds.
Five tiny little mouths of newborn birds 10 feet from my door – literally exhausting two parents with their loud squawking demands for more worms and berries.
The little noise my coffee maker makes for about 3 seconds each morning when the coffee is perfectly ready for my filler and new mug.
The little perfect shape of my son under his blanket when I glance in at 2:00 a.m.
Beautiful moments. What are yours? Senses sharpened. Scents. Scenes. Fleeting. Are we living in the moment and absorbing what is beautiful? The notes you want to hold? We can’t be so busy that the tiny little beautiful details don’t catch our breath. We don’t even know what our day will bring us. But we do know that the smallest details in our lives are what are truly gifts from God to help us realize there is beauty everywhere. Even when you have pain, there are always little gifts from our God to show us that this life is fleeting. This life is short. We must keep our eternal perspective. I have a dear friend who wrote about little babies – we are bringing an eternal soul into the world. A soul that has been loved by God before we even know of his/her existence, and will be back in God’s arms at any age of his/her life. Eternity.
Can you imagine what being in God’s presence will be like? We need to be jealous of those already there. For their beautiful moments are not fleeting. Their beautiful notes in their song will never change to minor notes. The truth is that the moment we are in God’s presence, in beauty of heaven (greater beauty than Hawaii!) – the day will not change. The scenes will not leave. The moments that capture our greatest senses will never pass. Goodness, can you imagine how great that is? Never ending. Peace. Absolute beauty. God’s creation for our delight. No change. Rest knowing that is in your future!!!! And until then, let us appreciate our little beautiful moments. As they pass let’s not feel constant sadness. For what new beautiful moment will be the next hour We are spoiled – for all or our sunrises, sunsets, flowers, star patterns at night – they all change. God planned that for us to see him in many different ways. Because he is creative and constantly coming up with ideas to give us moments of awe!
Have a great week. Thank you so much for telling your friends about our store and for your business. Let me know if you have anyone that you’d like me to add to this newsletter. You are the reason we are here. Thank you for letting me be in your Thursdays. Just read 10 minutes a day to start – that’s over an hour a week. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you really can find an author that is “you”. You never know when an author will completely open up a new chapter…new movement in your song! Susan
P.S. Another interesting fact that I learned from this book about the absolute love for gardens and trees in the orient…
In 212 B.C., when the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, burned all the books and buried the scholars alive he issued a special decree exempting those on the cultivation of trees. He didn’t have any use for scholars or “bookworms” (grin), but he sure did appreciate his trees!
Latin for this week: Urbs in horto - City in a garden (Chicago) Hortus in urbe - A garden in the city. Hortus Siccus - A dry garden. Hortus Conclusus - An enclosed garden. Hortus medicus - A medicinal garden. Works Cited: Evans, Richard Paul. The Christmas Box Collection. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1998. Glowczewska, Klara. The Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places. New York: Penguin Group. 2007.