It’s true what they say about misfortune…that, while bad, it helps us to appreciate what we do have. Helps us to be grateful for the seemingly countless blessings we enjoy every day (if only we take the time to *try* counting).
But there’s more than that. More than appreciation and gratitude.
There’s beauty. And if we’re lucky, maybe a bit of awe.
Since my nephew’s accident, yes, I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the simple joys in life, to be grateful for many small things that had gone on, unnoticed, for so long.
But mostly, I’ve been reminded of that amazing film from some years back, “Life is Beautiful”. I’ve seen thousands of people come searching for good news. Hundreds of people take the time to pray, and to reassure, and to give a bit of themselves that others might have it to draw upon, to hold on to, and to take comfort in when the road gets a bit rocky. I’ve seen dozens of people donate money, some of them complete strangers, not just because they know it will be needed, but because they’re moved to do everything they can, anything they can, to help.
I’ve also found myself thinking about my nephew more. About his easy way with people. About his kind (if a bit mischievous) heart and willing posture towards life. And about his ability to impact a place so completely that despite walking in a stranger, he always walks out with friends.
Are there less beautiful things about Ben? Sure, we’ve all got those. But don’t we spend enough time dwelling on them? I prefer to leave them to the ordinary moments. To not tarnish the extraordinary ones with remnants of our lesser selves.
The trick, of course, is making it stick. Finding, and offering, beauty in all circumstances. Making the ordinary look and feel a bit more extraordinary. That may be a few generations (or millennia) off, but it’s times like these that show me it’s possible.
No matter. Today, in this moment at least, life truly is beautiful.