I was engaged in the mundane task of washing beans for soup, when I noticed that light and water had transformed the task.
A Profusion of Beauty
I sometimes think that as artists we are privileged to be given fleeting glimpses of the world as God sees it – full of infinite beauty in the everyday.
I had a doctor’s appointment in March that was actually right here in town, which is not normally the case. A new Nordstrom Rack had opened right across the street from my doctor’s office many months ago. I had gotten very excited because I usually only get to the Rack that is 50 miles away once a year, even when I am relatively healthy. But I am not normally in the part of town with the new Rack, and for many months I had been too ill to either add it onto a doctor’s appointment or to make a special trip just for the purpose of going to the store.
But that day in March I was feeling pretty good, so after I had seen my doctor, I went back to my car, ate a snack, and then headed across the street. I was on a mission to look at purses. Now, first let me say that I love purses. Especially nice purses. I buy maybe one a year. But I hardly ever pay full price, and certainly never pay full price if the purse is expensive. Secondly, let me explain my method of looking at purses at Nordstrom Rack. I go to the purse section and walk through. Usually, but not always, pretty quickly. If a purse jumps out at me, I stop and take a closer look. If nothing reaches out and grabs me, I just keep on walkin’.
So in March I was walkin’ at a moderate speed, and sure enough, one purse kinda yelled, “Hey, hey, look at meeeee!” So I did. And the purse was perfect. I fall for beautiful, but slightly unusual purses, and this one had it all. The leather was worked in a very unusual design and texture and was also very light weight. The color was perfect, and the size was large enough that I could fit my netbook in when I needed to. And the best part? It was originally a $200 purse marked down to $100. And…… drum roll to accompany my glee, please…… I had accumulated 40 Nordstrom points over many months. That equals $40. So I got the purse for only $60!
But here’s the simple pleasure part: I am taking such delight in everything about the purse. Every time I pick it up, I marvel at how light it is. I reach down while I am carrying it, and run my hand over the outside and notice again how beautiful it feels. I will sit there and just stare at the perfect amethyst color. I put things in and take them out, just so I can see again that it can hold a little bit of stuff or a lot. I double check that my netbook fits, and re-discover that it fits with room to spare. I even like the way the zippers work; they have pull tabs that are easy to grasp, and the zipper glides along without a hitch. I sometimes just open the purse and look inside because I love the beautiful leopard print lining.
Yes, I know, this is partly my OCD, and also partly because I don’t get out much. But it is also the new habit of mindfulness that I have learned in the Kaiser Mind Body class. It is taking just those few extra seconds to notice something beautiful. Oh, and maybe the coolest part? As I got on an elevator two days after I bought it, a woman said, “That is an AWESOME purse.” How great is that? And I have been using it almost every day since.