Word Muse: Beauty in the World

by Tina Reeble, Education Specialist, Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and Nature Explore

This week’s Word Muse is inspired by the word ‘Beauty, submitted by Irvine Nature Center, a Certified Nature Explore Classroom in Owing Mills, Maryland. I have been noticing beauty in many areas of my life. Here are just a few examples.

Beauty in my work 

 I have been traveling this month, giving Nature Explore workshops across the country.  One of my favorite activities to share with folks is part of our Families’ Club series and is called, “What is Beautiful to You?”  Each person is asked to take some time to connect to the natural world and consider the beauty they perceive. Through this experience we are reminded that natural beauty surrounds each one of us, we just need to remember to look. It is so easy get caught in the “autopilot” versions of our daily lives. I often find, it isn’t until we are intentional in our thoughts and actions through this shared workshop experience that we break free and begin to see anew.

Beauty in writing  

In her book, The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson shared, “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.  It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eye vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood…” A few paragraphs later she adds, “For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open our eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before?  What if I knew I would never see it again?’”

Beauty through my child’s eyes 

My personal reaction has been to seek out frequent moments to experience beauty through the eyes of children. When I do, I am gifted with the energy waves that come from their sense of wonder. I have become deeply aware that I react to the emotional response that beauty evokes and so do children. The past few days I have had charming moments with my seven year old son, Rory, who has been enchanted by the beauty of fireflies. Most evenings this week, as dusk settles into darkness, Rory can be found roaming the backyard, which has become his own solitary world of magical insects and make believe. I have seen his discovery, his amazement, his sense of wonder and with that a need to engage with curiosity more deeply, a desire to cherish and preserve, the need to stay longer and come again.

And there in those moments, because my child has reminded me, I too am seeing beauty in the world around me. On occasion, Rory has invited me to join him, and I realize now my child is experiencing the world through my eyes as well.  How long will it last? I think that perhaps together we can grow in a way that finds lasting, life-long connections with each other and with our beautiful world.

Now I would love to hear from you.  What is beautiful to YOU?

Our next word is Symbiosis.

Be bold, choose to be extraordinary and I will see you next week.