The other day in a moment of silence, my thoughts turned to beauty. Now this is a topic I think and talk a lot about. The splendor of a sunrise kissing the mountain tops awake, or a bee slowly going about its business of collecting and spreading love between the flowers, the promise of a rainbow after the storm clouds have rushed in deluging us with their tears. These are beauties we can all understand and identify with if we take the time to appreciate them.
On this day these are not the beauties I was thinking about. I was drawn to thoughts of friends and the subtle beauty of their friendship. As we shuffle, skip, meander and dance along the path of our life we occasionally bump into a stranger, strike up a conversation and acquire a friend. Sometimes for just a short period of time, other times for life. You know the kind of friend, that it doesn't matter how long its been since you talked or have seen each other, its like you've never been parted from each other. They listen to our ramblings and help us make sense of it. They help us find ourselves, no matter what mask we choose to wear. Their gentle words and touches in our times of fear and despair remind us that we have companions to help find the way back to ourselves. They pick us up when we falter, they push us when we stop cold in our tracks. They help us find the beauty of ourselves and to see that our shadow selves are not as gruesome as they appear.
Many years ago I was driving home during rush hour. It was a typical Northwest fall afternoon. The sky was so black with clouds and rain coming down so hard I could hardly see to drive. It was miserable and after one of those days at work when I really wondered was it all worth it. Needless to say my mood was not a fine one. As my car crested a hill on highway 16, to the west I noticed golden rays of light shining down. A great crack had opened up between those blacker than black clouds and literally pouring down out of the sky were the most magnificent golden rays of sunlight made even more brilliant by the black clouds in the backdrop. I was stunned by the beauty of this to the point of tears. Pulling over to the side of the highway, I beheld this dazzling sight, crying, knowing that this was a gift from creation. This awesome sight I still hold close to my heart and when I think on the beauty of my friends along the stormy highway of my life, I know they are the golden light, the gift from creation and I give thanks for the opportunity to revel in the truth of their beauty.