Life is beautiful

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I walked through Boston the other morning and marveled at what the heart of my city looks like in deep snow.  It was sunny but cold, and everything felt more difficult than usual: streets narrower, hands cold, wind whipping.  I crossed Beacon Street and headed into the Public Garden.  I passed a bush, empty of branches but full of clumps of snow, and the suddenly-deafening song of sparrows stopped me in my tracks.  Every time I notice a bush full of birds, singing their hearts out, I wonder at all the people around me, rushing past, heads down, apparently oblivious to the sound.  Am I the only person who notices this music?  Sure, it’s not symphonic.  But still: it is there, and reminds me of all of life that is invisible to the eye and yet still, asserting itself, going on, making beauty, making its mark.

A smile played on my face as I remembered the early-winter day with Whit, when he’d commented on the song of sparrows in an altogether different (but similarly barren) bush near our house.  A sensitivity and awareness whose source I know well throbs through my son’s veins, there’s no question about that.

I kept walking.  The sun glinted off of the frozen pond where the Swan Boats float in summer.  Snow dusted the back of the statue that marked the gate to Arlington Street.  Boston’s most natural season is winter.  This is the season of my city’s soul.

Life is beautiful.

The next day was difficult, and I had an overwhelming impulse to sit down to write this.  I think I wanted to remind myself that even amidst tears there is so much beauty.  As I sat at my computer, writing, dusk fell.  I looked out the window and sprang up, moved by the color of the late-day sky.  I took pictures and remembered: I am smitten by this world.

I leaned my forehead against the cold window, noticing the pinkish-white streak of an airplane across the gloaming, and thought: thank you.  No matter what, this life is beautiful.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Abra is often noticing sounds I am not. Or sometimes I point out a sound — someone practicing a trumpet far in the distance — and I say, “Do you hear the trumpet, Abra?” and she says, “I want to see the trumpet!” “Well, you can’t see it, you just have to open your ears and listen.” And she does. I’m not sure I would have heard the trumpet before she was born.

    admin Reply:

    What a beautiful way to put it. I’m quite sure I hear more – not to mention see more, feel more, taste more – now that I have children. xox

  2. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Lindsey, so often I find such peace and reassurance outside in the world, when I can be still and notice all the small bits of beauty that surround me. It reminds me of what a small space I occupy in this universe, and makes me feel more tranquil.

    admin Reply:

    I agree entirely. Somehow being reminded how small we are is reassuring, isn’t it? xo

  3. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Hard to remember when things are rough, but so true!

    admin Reply:

    Right? I try. xox

  4. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I enjoy your writing so very much, Lindsey. Your positive view of the world makes me happy!

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much! What a nice thing to say. This makes my day. My week. xox

  5. Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Oh it is indeed, thank you for the reminder. I think I may love winter as much as I do because it’s so quiet. When you do hear a bird or ice crack or anything, for that matter, the sound is so clear.

    admin Reply:

    Yes. I agree with you: everything is quieter, so sounds are more vivid.

  6. Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I notice too. Sometimes it makes me smile, and sometimes it guts me. But like I keep saying, life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible, and the work is to keep my heart open to all of it, to allow it to wreak me, allow it to heal me.

    admin Reply:

    I know you do. That is part of why your blog, and your writing, feels so kindred to me.

  7. Amy VanEchaute
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Lindsey, your poetic otherness is in full, gorgeous bloom.
    This post of yours is another work of purest poetry. You are such gift to your readers. You are like a rare little bird that sings from the treetops. Sing, sing, sing! We’re listening, enchanted. xoxo

    admin Reply:

    Wow, thank you … what a nice thing to say! xox

  8. Colleen
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Ah bird songs…I just love them. And yes indeed- your writing always makes my day better. Thank you!

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much – I really appreciate hearing that.

  9. Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been here for a while, but always look forward to stopping by, particularly when my life feels squeezed. Thanks for the reminders to notice what is, and to drink in the goodness easily missed.

    admin Reply:

    Absolutely. I need those reminders too, all the time. Glad to see you! xo

  10. Posted February 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Stunning and vivid prose, my friend. As I think you know, I, too, commune with the natural beauty of this world, which grounds me and constantly reminds me to breathe, be present, give thanks. I relate so much to your words.

    xoxo

    admin Reply:

    Thank you, dear friend. xox

  11. Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. I am having a succession of difficult days and I too find solace in the outdoors. We have about a million starlings that land in our yard in a cacophany of sound and I find it strange and marvelous. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    admin Reply:

    I am sorry about the difficult days … but happy about the starlings!

  12. Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Have been struggling–hard–with migraine this season. The upside is that I’ve had time to notice its spare beauty. There are always two sides to the coin, and one of them is always beauty/wonder/joy. Thank you for the reminder.

    admin Reply:

    I am sorry about the migraine. But it is so impressive to me that you can still acknowledge the other side of the coin, of the experience, of this moment. xox

  13. Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I am not a fan of winter, but I heart Boston! It is my parent’s city (I was born on the Cape), but whenever I’m in Boston, my heart is full, no matter the season!

    admin Reply:

    Me too!

  14. Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful post, Lindsey!! I feel like remembering the good in the midst of difficulty is one of the secrets to a beautiful life. And you make me miss Boston terribly (even though I always found the winters difficult)! I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much!! I agree with you, that being able to remember that there is so much beauty even in dark moments is key to having a happy life (at least most of the time). xo