Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the world...to lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Sunday, January 31, 2010

J. Interesting article in the New York Times Sunday magazine today, questioning whether there is an Ecological Unconscious. "A branch of psychology says that there is ~ and that ignoring it puts not just the planet but also our minds at risk".
Glenn Albrecht, a philosopher and professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia coined the term 'solastalgia' in a 2004 essay to describe "the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault...a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home."
Now, I have never been a lover of labels for common-sense issues, but I do agree that we all do better when we connect with nature. When we are able to put our feet on the earth, to look at the beauty that surrounds us in the most purest of forms, we are healthier, happier, human beings. That somewhere within us we have a primal need to connect with this Earth.
For me, there aren't very many everyday anxieties that cannot be resolved by going for a walk. And it doesn't have to be in the grandest of surroundings.
In the early 90s I had the great fortune of living in Tokyo, Japan. For anyone who has been there, you would have to agree that, on the surface, it is an overcrowded, sometimes dirty, often noisy city. However, the Japanese have an uncanny ability to balance this concrete jungle with some of the most beautiful parks I have ever been to. And not just parks...in the middle of a congested street, with towering buildings and masses of dangling overhead wires you will find one exquisitely, perfect cherry tree.
So, to encounter nature where humans have contrived to remove or overrun it, you have to look with intention and a focused eye. And you will find it, Mother Nature never lets you down. It might be a single flower, a vine which has forced it's way through a crack in a wall, or the tiny peep of a birdsong, but it is most definitely there.
Another shot of Niagara on the Lake dusted in snow...one of the prettiest towns in Canada.
This is what my small part of the world looks like all dressed up for winter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


This certainly was not my idea! My wonderful, beautiful, insistent sister Victoria had been bugging me for over a year to begin this! We live 5000 miles apart but, thanks to the wonder of MAC are able to speak every day. She has now decided we need to do a West Coast/East Coast (even though I'm not on the east coast) kind of thing.

Mothers, sisters, life-long friends, we are both women of a certain age who have lived most of our lives physically separate, but somehow manage to stay intimately connected.
So what is 'Beauty in the Ordinary'? Here's how Victoria explains it:
"We can all take this beautiful world that we live in for granted. Cleaning our homes, gardening, cooking a meal for ourselves and our loved ones, for most it becomes a chore...for us these things are a celebration of our love...I have known and felt for years the sacredness in the ordinary and mundane...and this is what brought me to my work of helping people align their souls with their homes. To show people how to see the beauty-sacredness in their lives.

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be a famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress our friends...this about sharing our 'gift' each day with the world...to lift the spirit of people when they read the blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary. You know the famous saying"It's not what happens to us, it's how we react to what happens". So for people who go day to day, doing the same thing over and over with hardly any joy, this is what we want to show them...to wake them to the beauty, the sacredness that is in their lives..... even when life can be at its most difficult."
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