251: PulchritudePosted: June 1, 2011
Pulchritude has to be one of the oddest words for beauty I have ever seen or heard. There are so many other words that I think say it better, and I often wonder if anyone ever uses the word pulchritude and if so, what would be the occasion for using it? It’s all a matter of perception, I suppose. There are some out there who probably adore the word pulchritude. Beauty is, they say, in the eye of the beholder.
Brief digression: When I first saw this dragonfly photo on my monitor, I was reminded of a photo I took back in December with the frozen pond as a background.
They’re not so very similar, now that I see them together this way. Still, there is something about them that makes me want to pair them with each other.
According to Dictionary.com, beauty is defined as:
the quality present in a thing or a person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind…
Other words for beauty include comely, fair, lovely, polish, grace, style, harmonious, pretty, resplendent, and winsome, just to name a few.
One of the many lessons I have learned during the almost three full seasons of my outdoor commitment is that each season brings its own beauty. I have also learned that beauty is not always what you might think it will be. I found as much beauty in the dying and decaying plants and flowers of autumn and winter as I do in the new life of spring. And even though I whined a bit (a lot??) about the cold, the ice, the snow, and then the rain, there was a lot of beauty to be found in all of that as well.
I have noticed that there comes a point in each season when I feel awed by the beauty of nature, and that is when I realize I have fallen in love with the season itself. I seem to have reached that point with spring.
I stared at this peony for the longest time yesterday, admiring its delicacy, its grace, its vulnerability, and its opening to life and light. It was as if I had never seen a peony before, and it’s possible I never have. Not in the same way as I saw it yesterday. There was a moment when I didn’t recognize it as a flower or as a peony or as any other name or label. I don’t know how to explain it. It was there. And I was there, too. It was more than just the peony. It was the light, the sounds, the scents, the textures, the breeze. It was a moment of oneness.
After a while, I spent time with another peony. Only two have opened so far. I did, of course, get up close, lean in, and inhale the wonderful perfume of the peony. You should not only stop and smell the roses. You should stop and smell the peonies, the wisteria, the locust tree blossoms, and all the other lovely scents provided by nature.
When your inner eyes open, you can find immense beauty hidden within the inconsequential details of daily life. When your inner ears open, you can hear the subtle, lovely music of the universe everywhere you go.
~ Timothy Ray Miller
Tell me, can you see beauty? Can you let it renew your commitment to life, every day? I don’t want to wait for death to be near to receive the beauty in my life. I want to be awed every day by the truth — pretty or painful — and let it open me to the beauty that surrounds me and draws me deeper and deeper into my own life.
The thing which we speak of as beauty does not have to be sought in distant lands… It is here about us or it is nowhere.
~ Allen Tucker
A cold front moved through early this morning, or so they say. The temperatures were in the lower 80s today instead of close to 90. We didn’t hit or tie the record high yesterday, but came close. The most noticeable feature about cold fronts this time of year is not so much the temperature drop but the fall in humidity. It’s nice not to feel as though I’m swimming through the air.
There is a wonderful breeze blowing. If you stand under the locust trees, flowers petals from the trees come floating down, filling the air. It’s warm-weather snowfall. The breeze and the dry air have conspired to finally dry up most of the boggy areas that are not usually boggy areas. The garden area, however, could use a bit of rain. (Do I sound as if I’m never satisfied? I’m not complaining. Truly. The garden really could use a bit of rain.) The whole garden area is dry, weeding is difficult because the ground has hardened, and we had to water it yesterday (and will have to do so today too, most likely).
That’s about it from the Bogs for today. Thank you for dropping by. I’ll be back with another edition of Life in the Bogs tomorrow. 😀
Almost any intense emotion may open our ‘inward eye’ to the beauty of reality. Falling in love appears to do it for some people. The beauty of nature or the exhilaration of artistic creation does it for others. Probably any high experience may momentarily stretch our souls up on tiptoe, so that we catch a glimpse of that marvelous beauty which is always there, but which we are not often tall enough to perceive.
~ Margaret Prescott Montague