Beauty that Astounds

Snowflake Melts on a Branch

I learn something astounding about snowflakes today:  the more hostile the environment, the more intricate the snowflake’s shape.  The bitter cold and wind encourage sharp tips and branching designs while warmer temperatures produce slow-growing, smooth, and simple patterns.

I’d rather have complex, sophisticated, and beautiful.  I’d rather have unexpected and perplexing than smooth and simple.  

I stand in my backyard as the storm swirls about me.  I think of what it takes to make such beauty.

Snowflake on a Thorn

It’s not easy; it’s not warm and smooth.  What’s harsh in our environment right now shapes beautiful things in us.  That kind of beauty–born from trial and thorn–truly astounds.

I included a new feature at Live with Flair!  You can journal along with me on your own (and share your wisdom in the comments if you wish) every day.  I’ll include a reflection question that I’m thinking about along with each post.  

Journal Question:  Is it really true that sorrow or hardship “shapes beautiful things in us?” 


Snowflake Photography

Early this morning, the children race around the house to announce the news:  Snow!  Just flurries, but still the excitement mounts as the sun rises on our town.

I grab my camera and go outside on this blustery morning.  I’m in thin pajamas–no hat, no gloves, not even my coat–and it’s amazing how I don’t notice the cold.

First Snow on a Berry

It’s because I see something so magnificent it diminishes me for once.  I’m not even aware of my own frozen fingers. 

Snowflake on Concrete

Is it true that each one is different?  And why does this design delight? 

Snowflake on a Stone

Close up, I see something so wonderful, so miniature in its grandeur.  

Snowflake on a Log

The beauty of these tiny designs keeps me outside too long.  But I don’t notice what comes against me; I don’t notice myself at all.  That’s what beauty–real beauty–does to a soul.

You get caught up in the awe of it, and even in the cold gray of a winter morning, you are set free from yourself.