This piece was originally posted in the blogfest below. It seemed right for this linkup, too.
Last night, while reading the blogs of fellow ROW80 participants, I found my way here.....
Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2012. The concept and interpretation of beauty have long been a fascination of mine, and so I've come here to explore my own concept of beauty as it exists in this moment.
I say "in this moment" because my ideas about beauty have shifted dramatically throughout my life. Maybe everyone's do; maybe it's part and parcel of growth, of deepening, of becoming more conscious and more aware of what I truly value...
How I See Beauty....
...is perhaps more easily expressed in pictures than in words. And so, for once, I am going to keep the words to something of a minimum, and instead share a series of images that speak to me of beauty.
|Jeremiah, age not-quite 10, in a thoughtfully soggy moment.|
|From Cameron turns 11 - June 2011|
|Janessa, about 4, I think.|
|Lise and Nate deep in conversation.|
|Red tongues are important!|
|"Mud Monsters" Sam and Lise.|
|Jeremiah, 10, and Annalise, 7, soar and explore at Liberty Ridge Farms, Schagticoke, NY.|
Or, the way they were intent and focused on just what they were doing, with an ability not to care what others might think about it. Many adults have forgotten this, or had it driven from them, somewhere along the path of growing up.
So there is a rare and precious type of beauty, for me, in children - or anyone - simply being.
|New Year's Day cozy fire, 2010|
|Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in our front walk cottage garden bed....|
|Full moon on Annalise's half-birthday, 2012|
|Old brick road off Market Street in Philadelphia, around the corner from Ben Franklin's print shop, July 28,2011.|
|Founding Father outside of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 2011.|
|Two old souls commune....|
|At the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, Wahington, DC, September 2, 2008.|
|The General Philip Schuyler House, Schuylerville, NY...Summer 2009.|
|Annalise harvests our blackberry bush, summer 2009|
|Paddock area, Saratoga Race Course, summer 2009.|
|Zen Moment, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, NY.|
|The Canfield Casino, legendary gambling hall., Congress Park, Saratoga Springs.|
|Duck Pond Beauty.|
|Glass-enclosed outdoor carousel, with sunlight, shadow, and reflections.|
|Annalise in motion before the Canfiled Casino.|
There is something in nature, animals, and beautiful craftmanship that speaks directly to my soul.....the lush colors and textures of nature and how unexpectedly beauty can appear...
The way the light falls outside, and how it can trick my eyes and reveal things I had no idea were there...
How the passion and knowledge and vision in something lovingly crafted shines through...
And how nature and animals seem to bring out a more natural, freer side of people; a softer, more joyous, and more honest way of being that doesn't exist in the indoor, taken for granted world.
|Jeremiah's Lego gun......looks like a crack shot!|
|An early fort by Annalise - cardboard, blanket, and sheet construction.|
|Invented pattern block and checkerboard game....with feet!|
|Geodesic dome climber.....|
|Learning to spell!|
|A machine......Tinker-Toy construction.|
|Annalise-designed choreography - with Little Toot cartoon and Echo the inflatable dolphin.|
|A boy and Carmen SanDiego Chase Through Time....|
|Weighing at the Children's Museum of Saratoga.|
|Horse skull exploration., Wright's Farm, York PA.|
|Being with nature, in nature.|
|Annalise's "Tower of Plaza" - videotape construction on coffee table foundation.|
|Tie- dye fun.....|
|Pride of accomplishment.|
|Sassy girl in a sassy sunhat!|
My children's explorations, creations, games, and growth are beautiful to me, and I have arranged my life in a way that allows me to be on hand for many of these moments. It is fascinating and beautiful to see them learning, deepening, and expanding in so many ways. These pictures are nearly three years old, now. The children portrayed in these photos no longer exist. They are bigger, older, stronger, more certain versions of those little, younger, figuring-things-out people they were then.
That I can capture them, right where they are, whether perfectly turned out in a clean space, or, as seemed so often to be the case in these photos and that time of their lives, rumpled amidst seeming chaos, is one of the most beautiful facets in this unschooling life. It's the joy and life in their faces, the engagement that is so obvious to me.
This is the type of beauty that just swells my soul with feelings that have a lot to do with joy, and exhilaration, and a deep understanding of why we choose to live this way....
|At Kaateerskill Falls, in New York. Trip with the Mabee family, May 2007. Photo credit Eden Mabee.|
|Lise and I, sharing the tie-dyed love! =) Photo credit: Jeremiah Burton.|
|Frog love at the National Zoo, Washington, DC.|
|Daddy's girl testing out her cheffin' gene. Daddy love!|
|Sibling Embrace.....Sibling love.|
|Love watches me through the window....|
|Itty-Bitty love, 2005.|
|Getting to know you love - Annalise and I - winter 2005.|
|Lise, Daddy, and Thumbelina. Lotsa love!|
|Birthday boy love - at "Daddy's Work", Amigo's Cantina, Schuylerville, NY|
|Stick-pony love. Annalise, age 5, with a friend at Liberty Ridge Farm.|
|My three loves in a tickle fest!|
|Pizza Hut Love - just because. Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Miah, Me, and Lise outside the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA Summer 2010. Photo credit: Random Friendly Passerby.|
|The family that laughs together.....Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Mother's Day Bubbles ice cream love. May 2007. Photo credit: Mary Foster Boykin.|
|Merry Christmas love - Winter 2006. Photo credit: Eden Mabee.|
|Snuglgle love. Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Subway love - On the Metro, Washington, DC. Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Cool invertebrate house on a hot summer day. National Zoo. Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Love at the beginning - August 23,1997, beside Wild Island. Photo credit: Random Wedding Guest with a disposable camera.|
|After a bath love. Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.|
|Sibling expedition love.|
|Snowy Smiling love.|
|Sprinkler love at the Natiomal Zoo.|
Love is beautiful to me. Love in any form, so long as it is mutual and beneficial. And, most especially, the love of the three people I love the most.
Love that glows outward from the deepest places inside each of us makes the world a more beautiful place.
May you all have love, and joy, and beauty so rich it overflows onto everything around you!