Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing. — Camille Pissarro.
I apologize for being missing in action for these last few weeks. I have been in two of the country’s most beautiful places. First driving through the mountains of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and western New York to Chautauqua Lake, and second to Santa Barbara, California. They are both totally beautiful and totally different. One thing they have in common however is that amongst all the beauty is devastating poverty. Driving through West Virginia there is town after town of poverty, and believe it or not Santa Barbara has a large homeless population. In both these places the natural beauty overwhelms the poverty, and it’s not difficult to not see the depths of despair, the opposite of Pissarro’s words.
Pissarro reminds us to also look for beauty when it’s not so easy. Imagine seeing images from the Bahamas today and finding beauty. Yet, we will. There will be stories and images of miracles and unbelievable courage as the days and weeks pass. While we all do what we can for those whose lives are turned upside down by a natural disaster we must remember to seek out beauty as well. In fact each of us has the potential to be a “beautiful thing” in humble places ourselves.