Everything has Beauty by Alan Houghton

“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it”. So said Confucius all those millennia ago. Beauty is all around us but we tend to take it for granted until it is denied us or going to be taken away from us.

Beauty can be found in the simplest, most mundane things around us; daffodils in spring, the smell of fresh cut grass, the colours of autumn leaves. The adoption of a new kitten or puppy, the excitement of a child enjoying a new experience, the sound of leather against willow on the cricket fields of England are all things of beauty to me. A decent pint of real ale, a leisurely drive through the countryside in the UK, or a well-designed garden in full bloom are beautiful to me.

We can all appreciate a beautiful person, but beauty is only skin deep. Real beauty is much more mundane, embedded in a person’s character. It’s the little things about a person that makes up their character and their real beauty.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone finds beauty in different things. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote of their favourite things in the Sound of Music:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things

All very mundane little things but enough to bring a smile to the face of Julie Andrews. It took covid and all the lockdowns for us to appreciate the beauty around us. When we could not pop round to friends and family for a coffee and a chat, when we could not travel, when we couldn’t sit in a beer garden chewing the fat, when we could not attend weddings, funerals and other occasions, life lost a lot of beauty. For those in poor health, a normal mundane day is a beautiful day. Just ask any cancer patient. They know how to appreciate the beauty surrounding us and what really matters in life.

So, let’s all take a deep breath, look around us and appreciate the beautiful mundane.