Children aren’t looking for life to be just so to stop and see beauty. It’s in the midst. In the blanket fort a mish-mashed mess, in collected litter treasures, in the living room dust particles dancing like fairies upon the sun’s backlight.
For me, it can be hard to see the beauty for the piles, but when I get away from the confines of these four walls for a while, often times it helps me remember.
A few weeks ago, when the roses here in Portland had reached their seasonal peak, the girls and I headed to the International Rose Gardens ten or so minutes from our house.
It’s a traditional kind of beauty to be sure, but there’s always unexpected among the rows. The flower on the edge of life, just holding onto petals before they drop free. The sing-song of foreign languages and the way he looks at her before he snaps that shot next to the row of Spanish red.
It was a humid cloudy burning off to intense sun on the face kind of day, the type where you alternate every few minutes putting on your sweater and then tying it around your waist. I’d sort of forgotten about the old project in which the girls take photos that represent their view on a theme (in the past, they captured impressions of Love and Joy), but when one of my budding photographers asked if she could snap a few photos with the phone, I handed it over, and then the girls passed it around.
Between sniffs — “this one is peaches” and “you’ve gotta smell this one…it’s just that perfect rose scent” — they darted among the flowers. Beauty seekers — that’s what they were.
The light was a bit of a mixed bag and so some of the photos are a bit bright with that midday glare, but I chose not to alter or edit them in any way here. Today, you’re seeing just what my girls saw.
While they photographed, I asked,
“What is beauty?”
Sici (age 11): “Beauty is attitude. It’s internal.”
Lala (age 4 1/2): “I name this petal Beauty.”
J (age 8): “I know what makes something beautiful. Life.”
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Especially liked, “Beauty seekers — that’s what they were.”
Little moths and beauty the bulb
That’s right, Don. Loving the perspective of my little moths.
Your girls are wise little ladies! The orange roses are especially beautiful. Oh, that we would regain just a little of our childlikeness and see trough their eyes, don’t you think.
Mia, I’ve always loved those orange roses! And yes, to regain childlikeness…that is indeed my prayer. Sending love to you.
Ashley, I don’t know if you remember me. I am Kindy’s Youth Leader from HS. I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts (I found them 3 months ago). In my world of grief, you bring a reminder of hope and past joy and future joy. Thank you for your uplifting words and attitude and example of living with intentionally seeing the world as God’s daughter.
I just sent you an email, beautiful Becky. All I can say is that I am grateful and truly humbled that my words brought you some glimpse of light, joy and God’s unending love for you, his daughter. I am praying for you, dear Becky.
Ashley, how sweet of you! I use my “disposable” account on public sites so I may have accidentally deleted your email. I would love to read it. Would you mind sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org ? And again, I enjoyed today’s post. :)
I just changed it for your posts.
Your sweet little ones are beautiful, what wise words they speak! Amazing, really.
Isn’t the wisdom of children just stunning, Katie?!
Amen! lessons on beauty taught by the sprites of delight! Beauty in the eyes of the beholders! This was precious Ashley! I so love this idea of setting a child free with a camera so that we can see through Their lens! So many ways we could do that, if only we knew how much we would all gain from it, and knew to take the time. I agree with the others – Sici, J and Lala are wise little ones! And each brim full of her own beauty. xoxox!
Sprites of delight — haha! I love that, Mama. Yes, I kept thinking of that phrase: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” And about how that’s the way we know beauty…in seeing it…and seeing it sometimes through the eyes of others.
Oh you know I love this! This hunting beauty and seeing it through their eyes! (and oh how I love the Rose Gardens in Portland too! We didn’t get there last year until near the end – but even then, breathtaking!
Oh, you’ve been to the Rose Gardens in Portland? It is a lovely place, isn’t it, Karrilee? So glad, as always, to see you here.
The full ones that look almost like peonies are always my favorite.
Same here, Elizabeth! Peonies and full cupped roses — some of my favorite creations!
Thanks for sharing your girls perspective on beauty…so individual & sweet!
Thank you, Becca! Hope to see you and your beauties soon.
Several years ago my daughter took me to the same rose garden and we walked hand in hand through the rows and rows of spectacular roses. Their fragrances were exquisite. She knows I love, love, love roses. It was a sacred time and one of my favorite memories with her. Your daughters will always remember that time with you too. I cried reading your post, and remembering the time I had with my daughter knowing your daughters now have that special memory with you. It’s a priceless gift..Blessings. Barb
Oh, Barb, that is so sweet. Thank you for sharing that story with us….these experiences of beautiful places with our children — yes, these are sacred times. And the tears are coming to my eyes now, too.
So beautiful, innocent, and very wise…
Love! Seekers of beauty and painter with light. Special girls you have!
I know I’m a little biased, but they really are something! :-)
Thank you. I try to expect the unexpected. Maybe today. I love you, Grams
Sent from my iPad
Expecting the unexpected…yes, how much beholding beauty is like this, Grams!
Positively Perfect :D
Blessings of beauty on your day, dear Kelly.