Beauty Brings Light If We Dare to Look
My friend nearly died … twice within two months. My father’s aging body stoops at the back like a vulture craning its neck. My aunt and uncle experienced a major car accident that nearly took their lives. And my mother’s collapsing foot arch doesn’t allow her to mow grass or weed the garden without excruciating pain.
All these people gathered with my husband and me to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon last week. Despite the afflictions and near-death experiences, we all stood side-by-side, breathing in the clean, fresh air, observing the enormity of the crater below us, and listening to the breeze and birdsong from the veranda of the Grand Canyon Lodge. My friend, who still endures an awkward gait, my mother who uses a cane, and my father who shuffles his feet while hunched over with back pain, tottered from the car to the expansive lodge, and took a make-shift elevator administered by hotel personnel. But, they arrived. And they saw. And they stared. And they commented. And they smiled.
My father (left), his youngest brother and my uncle, my aunt, and my mother, all aged 70+. Photo by Gayle M. Irwin
And my heart burst. Joy surged. My eyes also burst. Tears of elation and thanksgiving flowed like a fountain as I beheld these people I love, and could have lost – and will one day will lose. A dear mother and father. A sweet friend. A kind and loving aunt and uncle. A compassionate, supportive husband. A vision of beauty amid a magnificent natural scene. Light shone forth, from the human company I kept and from nature as sunlight spilled around and into the Grand Canyon. Shades of red, gold, and white glimmered from the rocks and cliffs. Needles from pine trees shimmered in the summer sun as a breeze wafted aspen trees that dotted the nearby trails. A small herd of bison, several small chipmunks, and two doe deer made their appearances during our drive from the North Rim to Jacob Lake, where we stopped to enjoy a delicious meal.
Our world may be experiencing a great deal of darkness and negativity, but beauty shines its light if we just look around. Family, friends, pets, nature, memories – each brings light into our lives. Welcome that light. Embrace the beauty. Close your ears to negative news and social posts. Open your eyes and your heart to compassion and love. Express gratitude. Discover joy in small things. Welcome the positive and share encouragement with others. We can’t change the past nor do we know what the future holds, including when we’ll have to say goodbye to someone we love. Enjoy today. Speak kindly. Share love. Find the beauty and help shine the light – better yet, BE THE LIGHT!
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park near Kanab, Utah. Photo by Gayle M. Irwin (c)
In my book, Rescue Road, Rhiann carries her grandmother’s memory to her new home in Montana. She names her animal sanctuary in her Grams’ honor. She embraces a long-lost friend and opens her heart to love and joy. Despite the many losses she’s experienced, Rhiann recognizes beauty and light and relishes those treasures. If you haven’t read Rescue Road, my first sweet, contemporary, second-chance romance that weaves pet rescue and adoption into the story, I believe the characters I’ve created will inspire you. The print and e-book versions are available on Amazon and other book platforms, including Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Visit these links to find out more and to order a copy for yourself or a loved one or friend!
One reviewer says, “Wonderful, cozy read! I’m in love with the characters in this book! What a beautiful story about love and rescue!”