Searching for Beauty… a Tale of Two Orchids
As I’ve mentioned before I’m a firm believer beauty can be found all around you. But there are times in life when searching for beauty can require a bit more effort. And there are other times when finding beauty is just plain hard work.
A few weeks ago I was reading a blog post from a fellow blogger who lives on our island, and in this post she had pictures of gorgeous orchids she found on the island. Orchids happen to be my favorite flower and I’ve never seen them grow in the wild, so naturally I was dying to see them!
Fortunately, the blogger gave the general location of both sets orchids. That weekend I persuaded MJ to go to breakfast at a restaurant nearby the first set of orchids.
As we drove I scanned the side of the road for orchids, and in doing so I realized how many other flowers I had missed (I tend to get tunnel vision when driving… not good!). The island seemed to be in bloom all around me, I just hadn’t paid enough attention to notice.
Finally, I spotted what could possibly be the orchids and sure enough it was! Oh happy day!! They did not disappoint, the orchids were colorful, intricate, and simply stunning.
What surprised me most was they were seemingly growing off of a tree (obviously horticulture is not my area of expertise) and they could be easily missed unless you were specifically looking for them.
Later that week on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, Baby Girl and set out in search of the second set of orchids, only these were not as easy to find.
The orchids were on the property of a nearby resort, but in order to get there we would need to drive for a bit and then head out on foot along the beach. By no means hard, but it did require a decent amount of effort.
Once at the resort, I scoured the grounds for the orchids expecting to see them hanging from a palm tree high off the ground in similar fashion to the first set of orchids. I circled the grounds as I searched and searched, but nothing. Did they already wilt and die? Was I looking in the wrong place?
At last, I found them! Once again their location surprised me. Instead of hanging in similar fashion to the previous orchids, they were nestled against the tree trunk amidst the green foliage. Being that these orchids were green, they blended in extremely well with the foliage. Had I not been searching for them I most certainly would have missed them.
As with the first set of orchids, finding beauty sometimes requires just a little extra effort. It’s about being intentional with your time and energy. It’s so easy to get stuck in our daily routine and not carve out space and time for beauty. I’ve definitely been guilty of this offense.
So get out of the house and pick wildflowers in a field with your kids, set aside an hour to start working on the book you’ve been wanting to write, take your camera and go for a walk around the city, try out that delectable looking recipe you pinned weeks ago… put forth a little extra effort to do something that brings joy and beauty to your life.
However, there are seasons of life when searching for beauty is not as easy as this. As with the second set of orchids, beauty can appear to be hidden from you and will require more effort to find it.
At times life seems devoid of beauty and goodness. Believe me when I say I’ve been there. I’ve been through the three big D’s… and I don’t mean Dallas, Detroit, and Denver. ;)
I’m talking about Death, Divorce, and Disease. With each of these events it was very tempting to see the world as dark and cruel, with no real beauty to be found.
Instead, I channeled my energy into the pursuit of beauty and I believe this has made all the difference in my life. Rather than bitterness, I chose beauty.
Beauty in various forms helped pull me out of the depths of despair and set my feet down a new and positive path. Each time the pursuit required hard work and dedication. In circumstances such as these, beauty is hard won.
After my younger sister’s death when I was eight, I pursued beauty in the creation of art, more specifically ballet. I poured myself into the art of dance. Ballet was an outlet for my grief and became a lifelong passion, adding beauty to my life in countless ways.
After a brush with serious disease at nineteen, I pursued beauty of purpose with pageants as my chosen vehicle. My participation in pageants afforded me a greater opportunity to affect change in the lives of children with disabilities.
Almost ten years later following a difficult marriage and subsequent divorce, I pursued beauty of mind and spirit. This time around I used professional counseling as well as books about personal development and faith to bring about healing in my life.
Just as the beauty of the orchids far outweighed the effort required to find them, the same has been true of my life. Searching for beauty will at times require effort… even blood, sweat, and tears; but the resulting cultivation of beauty in your life is always worth the effort.
I now know more joy than ever before and I believe this is a direct result of pursuing beauty even in the most difficult of times.
The power of beauty is in its ability to transform life and transcend circumstance, so whether you need to make a small change or you are in need of a major life overhaul, begin your search for beauty today. I promise you won’t regret it.
Note- Orchids only look like they were shot in a studio thanks to the magic of Photoshop. Rest assured they are still happily in nature where I found them for others to discover and enjoy. :)
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