Written by Cheryl Richardson
It had been a quiet, lovely morning, the kind of start to the day where everything came together with ease. I woke early, worked out, and then went to sit in my cold tub for a few minutes.
As I slipped into the freezing water, I intentionally focused on my surroundings as a way to stay present and out of my head. I do this to counteract my mind because it always tries to convince me to get out. As I took several deep breaths, I began to settle down and I felt strangely at peace.
On this particular morning, I had the good fortune of eavesdropping on a conversation between two crows sitting in a nearby tree so I was pleasantly distracted. Eyes closed, the sun warming my face, I smiled at their incessant caw, caw, cawing to one another. In spite of the frigid water temps, it was heaven.
Later in the day, I ran a few errands and on my way home, I had another special encounter with nature. Driving toward a small bridge that crosses a nearby reservoir, I saw an adult mute swan taking her own cold bath. She was positioned prominently in a column of sunlight cast across the surface of the water. It was a breathtaking sight!
I immediately pulled the car over and got out to have a closer look. When I approached the edge of the road, the swan, who had been facing away from me, slowly turned full circle and stared in my direction. I held her gaze until, like grace in motion, she floated toward the bridge and slipped under the overpass.
When I got back in my car I felt a rush of energy move through my body – a blend of gratitude, joy, and deep peace. Ah the life force, I thought to myself, the stream of power we connect to when we arrive in the present moment. Beauty is a channel for this power.
Now that my life is more present-moment-focused, I’m learning to understand and value what it means to be a curator of beauty. Each day, I make a point to search for its enchantment – the way sunlight streams through cloud cover, a late-day shadow cast on a wall, leaves that seem to twinkle in a breeze, or the endearing sight of our cats cuddled together during an afternoon nap.
Cultivating a connection to beauty has become a priority, a way of engaging the higher energies that animate our existence. This life force is a source of joy, healing, strength, and love. It’s no longer a luxury to stumble upon something beautiful, it’s a necessity, something I search for, value, and enjoy sharing with others.
To that end, here’s a look at the swan in motion… she’s a sight to behold! While life can feel overwhelming and harsh, there is great strength and power to be had in becoming a curator of beauty. I hope you’ll join me.
You can see the swan below.
For the last twenty-five years I’ve dedicated my life to the practice of self-care because it’s good for people and it’s good for the planet. From personal experience, as well as coaching a diverse group of clients, I’ve come to understand that when we care deeply for ourselves, we naturally begin to care for others – our families, our friends, the environment, and the whole world – in a healthier and more effective way.
Please email: . © Copyright 2023. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950.
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