Many Types of Beauty

Life is so beautiful.Which is both completely honest and cliche of me to say, but I don’t know how else to say it.  There is so much beauty not just in the obvious, but in the obscure, the awkward, the fumbling, the embarrassing and the strange.

Today, I filed my taxes. It’s Sunday, so I was good and caffeine fueled and had already eaten my weight in bacon, so I had no excuse not to sit down and get it done. It was less than the arduous process I remembered, so by 3pm I donned my insulated skirt and headed for the forest. I left the financial world behind me and focused on grounding, connecting, feeling my breath match the rhythm and pulse of the Earth.

Near a trail junction, I heard voices and came upon a group of four men, maybe in their early 20’s or late teens. I couldn’t tell their exact age, because they were wearing make-shift medieval helmets (think aluminum foil over cardboard), wearing brown and green hand-sewn tunics and capes, and carrying what looked to be again homemade swords. Right before I turned to walk their way, one of them said, “One, two, three!” and I watched aluminum foil clash as two of the men began a mock-sword battle. As I began to pass along side of them, the same guy shouted “Reality!” and the battle stopped. I smiled wider and passed them as they made some obviously embarrassed-but-trying-not-to-be-because-we-chose-a-public-place comment.

As I walked away down my otherwise quiet trail, I was smiling from ear to ear of the beauty of it all. The flat, graceful fall of cedar bows. The gray, drizzly weather that seems like a front to keep people away from all the magic. The four guys, just doing their thing, battling away at the base of the cedars. Next, I passed a man on rollerblades fitted with small rubber tires for trails, digging his nordic ski poles three inches into the dirt in what seemed like an attempt to beat the Ravenna Park Roller Ski World Record (maybe it exists, stranger things do).

There were people walking dogs. Their were people picking up trash. There were squirrels collecting things, woodpeckers being noisy and ravens scaring off the woodpeckers. Every being there was enjoying being itself, and all of that happening together was an intricately created collage.

For the past couple of months or so, I’ve been working a lot on being myself and enjoying being in my own space. I mentioned in a previous post how I was gathering up pieces of myself lost in my past and reconnecting them back into who I am presently. The process has not only been introspective but fun! I’ve never had this much fun being me with, well, me.  I see the benefits of enjoying myself as creative projects brought to fruition, music coming from the piano somehow off my fingers, my body getting stronger, happiness even in the uncertainty, trust in what supports me, and a wonder in watching it all happen.

And that’s how it always happens, right? One minute, you’re completely happy and content being alone, and the next you’re hanging upside down from a trapeze while your hot date snaps pictures from below.

Which sounds kinkier than it is.

But isn’t that what they always say about relationships? That you should just “be yourself” or that “things will happen when you’re least looking for them?” I’m not saying I wasn’t looking, but I was keeping my flirting to a minimum, in safe locations like across the checkout counter at Whole Foods. But I was open to someone walking into my life.

Which he did. With his skis, and his smarts, his laughter and his sense of adventure. And I get to be nervous and awkward and blushing and dorky and watch myself interact with this new and altogether incredible human being.

The newness of this venture, this friendship, this relationship is as stunningly exciting as noticing the crocuses appear in springtime. There is a tenderness in the newness, and I’ve observed us both in the intricate dance of being true to ourselves and monitoring the reveal of who that is to the other, and then watching in awe and horror as the other reacts, nervous that we may have jumped too far and missed our landing.  This nervous navigation is as beautiful as it is sweet.

Life is so beautiful. But maybe I am a little biased. Flying upside down on a trapeze is pretty exhilarating.


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