This morning, the panorama outside my window was a masterpiece, painted in the night and animated for my viewing pleasure when I crawled out of bed. The mountains were covered with freshly fallen snow. Masses of high fog were veiling half of the peaks, and a bluebird was flitting about on the white picket fence surrounding my backyard. This being the first of April, the lilacs are in the opening stages of bloom, producing a prodigious showing of purple, and the abandoned golf course at the bottom of our hill was vibrant green. All this against the backdrop of bruised sky and frozen mountains, with drops of rain hanging from every surface and magnifying tiny little worlds of their own, sitting like pearls in the cups of each lilac blossom.
Such copious amounts of beauty, likely to take your breath away, and reproduced the world over, in some form or another, one day after the other.
“Considerable research supports the idea that nature is essential to the physical, psychological and social well-being of the human animal.”
This quote was taken from the Science Daily article written about the conclusions of a study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009. As unfamiliar as we may be with this concept in our busy lives, science shows that appreciating the beauty around us tends to lead not only to more enriched lives, but even to longer lives. With all the stress related medical issues on the table today – high blood pressure, heart attacks, panic attacks, indigestion, insomnia, just to mention a few – maybe it’s time we give beauty a try. It is free therapy, after all.
On your lunch break, eat beside the fountain or take a walk in the park. If possible, make weekend plans to get out in nature by hiking, biking, or camping. Visit a florist shop, and look long enough at the different blooms to soak up the colors and textures. Drive the scenic route instead of the freeway. Take the evening off to watch the sun sink below the horizon, and take note of the shades of colors left behind in its passing. Hold your grandchild’s hand as he’s learning to walk, read her a book, or volunteer at the local mission. Sit with a veteran, and hear his story.
Celebrate the beauty of life. In doing so, you may add not only beauty to your own life, but perhaps a few years, as well.