We live near one of the most beautiful places I know, Frederick Meijer Garden. It’s a world-renown sculpture park and botanical garden.
Every March and April this organization bring in hundreds of butterfly chrysalis and moth cocoons and allow them to hatch within the confines of the tropical garden. The visitors walk inside a dreamland of fluttering color.
Awhile back, I took my daughter early specifically to watch a different display than the flying butterflies. We came to watch the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis.
As I sit here writing, a fall wind is rippling through the trees, late afternoon sun is dripping horizontal gold through my curtains. The riot of color outside my window makes me smile. It is, undoubtedly and, for us non-philosophy students, unarguably beautiful.
This golden snippet of time is something I look forward to all year round. The memory of days like this is what gets me through the bleak winter months. Well, that and my down parka.
See, there’s something about beauty—especially in it’s classical, fall afternoon sense.
Part of being human is the ability to recognize, look forward to, and remember beauty. Tweet This
I’m fairly certain that my dog, Odie, as smart and crazy as he is, fails to really recognize the breeze, the trees, or even a perfectly cooked steak as beautiful.
I suppose if we’re going to discuss beauty, it’d be important to be sure we’re all talking about the same thing. Definitions are slippery things…especially when you’re arguing that the thing you’re defining is of life and death importance, which we’ll get to next week.
There is a core of who I am that is tangled in music. I grew up going to symphonies, playing in some of the best bands and orchestras in the state. I was through and through a clarinet-playing, band geek.
My life has a nearly constant musical score running underneath.
I write to music. Sing snippets of Broadway, Mother Goose, Louis Armstrong, Simon and Garfunkle, and even “Uptown Funk” to my kids.
Soaring melodies, growling tympani, rising arpeggios, staccato xylophone—they draw pictures, speak words I cannot always form coherently. You know what I mean?
This weekend I went with my mom and sister to our local symphony’s live presentation of Disney’s Fantasia. The overlap of the art of film and music reminded me of the fear and destruction happening in our world. In short, it undid me.
A little over halfway through the program came the music of one of my favorite ballets, Stravinsky’s Firebird. It isn’t a piece most modern Americans are familiar with, but I love the unexpected twists and the drama it sings.
In Disney’s take, a mighty elk, king of the forest, wakes Spring – Life personified, beautiful fluidity. Blue and green swirls. Life exalts in melting the snow and playing with the birth of flowers and butterflies, but is shocked when a mountain, an extinct volcano, resists her efforts to sprout in greenness.