A LESSON IN BEAUTY
Outside the dining room window of my grandparents’ farmhouse was the most majestic fig tree! Red birds decorated the branches like baubles on a Christmas tree as they filled their bellies with the sunflower seeds my Pa sprinkled on the ground below. I remember, like yesterday asking my Granny Rie why some of the birds were “redder” than others. Some were actually prettier.
She gently explained that the female birds were less vibrant than the males because of their roles in nature. They needed to blend with the scenery to protect their young. It was not their choice but their definition by nature….God. She also told me that their color reminded her of the barn that stood in spite of itself next to the old house. It too, was less vibrant, but had protected the corn in the crib to feed the cattle during the winter months, housed the equipment from inclimate weather, and kept the newborns warm in the stables. Faded and worn but beautiful because of its purpose.
Her answer led me to look at my surroundings differently. Beauty isn’t always found in the most vibrant, obvious or expected. It truly belongs to everyone and everything. Sometimes the very purpose or love of something makes it beautiful. I guess that’s what is meant by the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
I know the vibrant and bold colors of red were my grandmother’s favorite. She wore it in her best Sunday dresses and carefully drew it on her lips. But I think she identified more with the female cardinal and the old barn’s shades of red. She saw them as beautiful because of her own purpose. She was the mother of ten children and her role and purpose was somewhat defined for her. She found beauty in this life and raised her family in the background or camouflage of the vibrant male, father, husband and local farmer. She loved her gentle role in nature and her subtle beauty is found in all of her offspring. She watched over them and protected them and cheered them on when time to leave the nest behind. She gave them roots and wings.
Much of my own talent comes solely from nature. I did not study art or design in college. My passion for design comes from my roots and wings.
|We are excited to introduce Maria Heil to our Chrysalis family beginning September 1st! We asked her to share her thoughts on what inspires this funny, talented lady .|