“Beautiful is as beautiful does,” my mother used to say.
“Beauty is only skin deep,” she sometimes added, or
“Beauty is the eye of the beholder.”
It was the beauty without that fascinated me when I was young.
Not beautiful people, famous people,
not celebrities and heroes.
The falling leaf, the ripple on a pond,
the drift of clouds in summer’s blue,
the startle of a red flower along an unkempt road
caught my eye, held me bound by simple grace.
“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely
is made for the eye of one who sees,” said Rumi.
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful,
for beauty is God’s handwriting,” Emerson advised.
I believed these words; these were truths to touch, to hold close and long.
It took years to appreciate
the beauty my mother described,
the beauty she carried everywhere with her.
Now I see, as Ghandi taught,
“It may be possible to gild pure gold,
but who can make his mother more beautiful?”