Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Unexpected Beauty

          "Look Mom it's a picture made out of colored rocks!" From the backseat came the delighted voice of Big Girl forcing me to pay attention.  "Wh..wh..what?", I croaked as I turned in the direction she was pointing. Half asleep and not feeling the full effects of my coffee pick me up, I couldn't find the subject of her excitement. All I saw were a series of dingy brown apartment buildings squeezed between an equally dingy liquor store and the dingy freeway on-ramp. What could she be looking at? Then my eyes went to street level. There it was. A lovely palm tree mosaic made completely out of colored rocks.  "It's hidden prettiness."
     Then, a series of questions, introspections, and philosiphications started going through my mind. I was awake now.  
(Philosiphication: adverb- The little, somewhat, deep message our angels send to us out of nowhere. Because they want us to see the beauty that lies in the oddest places.)
     We go this way almost every day.  How could I have missed it? Was it new? Why did I notice it today and not another day? These questions, and a series of others...all in the span of about thirty seconds, triggered a childhood memory.
     As a child, with six kiddos and not a lot of money, my Mom and Dad would take us on drives.  (Riding in small car, through the desert, with six kids...made of tougher stuff, are my Mom and Dad! Yikes!)
 Hot, dismal, dreary and brown, brown, brown, brown and tan, everywhere, I remember wondering when it would all be over. How, even then, I thought my Mom and Dad were a little crazy adventurous. I can still feel the plastic car seat sticking to the back of my sweat soaked dress and the smell of bologna sandwiches.    
(I don't like the heat but I do like bologna sandwiches. I'm not too scarred)
 Then...
KABOOM!!! Out of nowhere. In the midst of all this blandness and brown-ness. From this post apocalyptic desolate world devoid of all color, there lie an explosion of color! This beautiful man-made masterpiece was a gift for the eyes and the soul. Somehow I felt instantly refreshed and my mind forgot I was miserable. My father stopped the car. Doors flew open and we explored. I remember wishing I had some paint. I too wanted to leave my mark. I wanted to contribute. We climbed to the top. We could see forever. I stood there, closed my eyes and listened to the complete silence that can only be experienced in the desert. It was peaceful. 
I can only imagine that through this complete silence, the creator of this fantastic artwork heard his Creator speak to him. I'm glad He did.   


Salvation Mountain

The Lesson
     There's beauty everywhere. When you encounter it, say a little prayer of thanks to the person who left it. I don't think when they did it they were entirely thinking of themselves. Their inspiration, I am sure, came from somewhere higher.
So, whattaya waiting for? Open your eyes and notice the little man-made surprises out there or go make one of your own?
Uh-oh, this is so up Glitterific Girls alley.
*Note to self: frisk the girl when you take her somewhere!
Love,
Teacher-Mom


      

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