A Thing of Beauty

Follow up from this post.

I enjoyed hearing about your things of beauty via Twitter and other means.

And mine? Turns out I got to see cherry blossoms after all, during my run this afternoon. There are several mature trees in my neighborhood. Those are beautiful in their own way; I like the darkness of the bark against the brilliant white petals. But today I was drawn to the brand new trees I saw in several yards. They were staked in the ground, with a trunk the size of my arm, with tiny twig branches sticking out the top. In fact, the branches were so puny that the weight of those pink and white petals bent them towards the ground. So the tree looked like a mushroom, or maybe a fountain of blossoms.

And I thought about people I know who are going through really tough stuff these days, especially two families I know with children suffering life-threatening illness. Both of them have shared stories just recently of the extravagant kindness of people around them. And I know what that's like. I felt that when my father died while I was great with child. People arrived with food and cards and oil to rub my swollen pregnant feet.

That kindness can feel overwhelming, like you can't even carry it all. It's a kindness born of grace, a grace that's so powerful you feel like you might break from the holy heft of it because, well, look at you, you're thin and pale and staked to the ground for gosh sakes, because you can't even stand on your own, let alone reciprocate or say thank you or do all those things competent people do. Yet somehow, by some miracle, you have enough strength to bear the weight of all that love that blazes with a white light.