Beauty in the Unexpected

I was so delighted when I received an email two weeks ago  Friday morning.   “Would you like company?”  Of course I would love company!  And so my sister and her husband made their way from Niagara Falls to Toronto  Friday evening to spend a leisurely weekend at my place.  And that is just what is was – restful – no agenda – no schedule – eat – drink – and be merry!

Climbing out of bed on Saturday morning – brewing the coffee – walking out to the garden – sitting and listening to the birds wake up  – pure joy!  Listening to the water fountain spill water over the granite rock puts your mind into a tranquil state.  Pure relaxation.  And no agenda – bliss!

I could swear the hydrangea plant grew in front of our eyes – so many buds coming – so many flowers to look forward to!

There is just something so relaxing about sitting back in your chair that reclines at just the right angle and watching the clouds move ever so slowly – covering the sun – then waiting for the clouds to move so the sun can warm our skin – what a relaxing change from the stresses of life and work!

When my sisters husband enters the scene and asks what we have been talking about all morning – the answer is – well only a couple of things – but we covered them well – with lots of laughter!  There is just something about chewing a subject well that lands you in a spot where all you can do is laugh and look at life through the bigger picture of a Creator who has control of it all.

I, along with my family have been through tough times in recent months and years – much loss and stress – on so many levels – and so this time of relaxation was so needed, welcomed and appreciated.  When stress is great – the appreciation for what you used to take for granted is multiplied.  To be able to relax and enjoy nothingness – was for us beautiful.  I felt the sun in a way that I had not before – I enjoyed the sounds of nature in a new way – and I loved the time together to relax.  So much of our family time has been taken up in care giving, planning moves for parents who need greater care, emptying out the contents of houses, planning funerals (I’m so sorry to say this but I speak truth here) and solving problems that need to be looked after that were complicated and affected lives other than our own – that is the nature of care giving.

But beauty does come in the unexpected – the reflection of the sun on the small water fountain, the birds who cautiously danced toward the pond hoping to get a bath – the squirrels that look at you with suspect eyes wondering why you have invaded their little haven – the smell of a BBQ cooking steak – ah that smell is heaven – the sound of the laughter of children in other yards around – the mixture of rustic fence wood against the colour of the new green leaves on the growing plants – and the feeling that you are with people who love you – who support you – and who have your back.  That is what family is – at least to me – and especially after you have journeyed together through loss and sadness and stress.  Beauty is knowing you are surrounded by love.

I am learning to drink in the small things – drink in the beauty of the sunshine, the beauty of the rain, the beauty of the fragrance of flowers, the green of grass and so many other small things that I so often have taken for granted.

And so as I face a new day today I will be very mindful of the beauty around me – in creation, in music, in design, in style, in wonderful food,  in laughter, in personality, in service  – in everything –  and especially in unexpected places.  Joy always comes in the morning – so here is to the morning!


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