When I Searched for Just One Beautiful Thing

We leave the house to walk and search for something beautiful. 

“Tell me when you see it,” I say, camera in hand.  My oldest says it’s good I have her along; children see better, hear better, and feel better than adults.

“It’s because we are closer to things.  We are shorter and smaller and listen naturally.” 

“Yes,” I agree because it seems true and right. 

We spy an unusual yellow–unusual because it’s the middle of winter in Pennsylvania–and stop immediately.

Witch Hazel?  I’m not sure.  The bud unfolds in circus ribbons of yellow and red.

Witch Hazel Unfolding

A bow on a package or the tight curls of tissue in flowers made by hand turns this winter day into a marvelous event.  The literary scholar in me remembers Bakhtin’s carnivalesque:  the world turns upside down through humor and chaos to subvert the dominant power or atmosphere. 

I need this carnival of color today.  It subverts the winter mood I’ve suffered all weekend.  Who made these?  I wonder and smile.  It’s so bright and festive that it’s actually a little ridiculous. 

We search for a beautiful thing, and we find it.  We know it’s beauty.  We stop and cannot be anywhere else.  In our thoughts we ask Who and How.  We find ourselves delighted, delivered.

Did you see one beautiful thing today?  

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  1. Thank you for looking and sharing such happy flowers! Now I want one for my garden. While I've been looking at lovely little snowdrops, they seem very prim and proper in comparison to these twirly blossoms.