Seeing Beauty

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“Beauty is to the spirit what food is to the flesh. It fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can. Unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of. It leaves you always aching with longing not so much for more of the same as for whatever it is, deep within and far beyond both it and yourself, that makes it beautiful.”

~ Frederick Buechner

We needed to see beauty. Our hearts needed it for differing reasons, but the need was there just the same. We needed to wander, to drink in pretty things. We picked a date. Saturday. We will go to Asheville together and we will see beauty. We awoke tired and distraught for various individual reasons, but collectively weary nonetheless. We wondered if we should cancel or perhaps reschedule. But we had set aside today, we had. We will go, we decided. 

The sky was luminous and clear, a perfect shade of blue that promised not to rain. We wandered through America’s largest home and imagined what it would have been like to live in a house that big—to wear fancy garments and headpieces, to read books in the library by the fireplace, to dine by candlelight late into the evening—our imaginations running wild.

We wandered through the conservatory observing, noting, and photographing all the shades and shapes, smelling all the fragrances. Although it’s not spring, not quite yet, we delighted in the sparse daffodils and the budding magnolia trees scattered about. We drank in the beauty, all of it. We walked the grounds—sometimes talking and sometimes not, sometimes laughing at one another, sometimes thinking deeply, and other times about nothing at all but the beauty before us as we let it do its work in us.

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