It seems that everywhere I’ve gone this week, I’ve been drawn to the fields painted yellow by the black eyed susans. I made several attempts to capture what I saw. But photos of the thousands of flowers, or even the hundreds, just didn’t seem to represent the beauty I saw. It wasn’t until I started focusing my camera on the individual flowers that I finally captured an image that represented the beauty I was seeing.
Part of the beauty of this individual black eyed susan is the character that has been given it by what it has experienced and endured in it’s life. Actually, that’s what makes it unique in a sea of thousands of black eyed susans growing in the same field.
When we are able to concentrate on this one flower, this individual, we can see its uniqueness, and the things that make it so. We can see what bugs have done to it — the discoloration, the chinks. We can see that it’s beyond its prime, as some of the petal edges are beginning to die. Those characteristics accentuate its beauty, a radiance amplified by the late afternoon sunlight.
It occurs to me that life is like that. The beauty of people is not seen in the masses. The beauty is seen in the individuals. My friends, the people I go to church with, and the people I visit in the hospital are in fact just like this flower. As I get the chance to see them as individuals, to see what they’ve experienced, endured and survived, I begin to see their uniqueness and appreciate their beauty.
Note to Jim: whether it’s flowers or people, focus on the individual. That’s where you’ll see the beauty.