Sunday, September 28, 2014

In search of beauty

Sometimes I just need to look at pretty things.  Stuff that is visually stimulating.  One day that could be bead magazines.  Another day it could be twenty shades of green in a thick forest of trees.  Sometimes it's a good movie with gorgeous scenery, well-written dialogue, stunning costumes and attractive actors.  Now and again it's looking at my collections - china, beads, found feathers, fabric.  Often it's laying in bed at night with a book on flowers or paintings or birds.  (I confess I hope that putting pretty images in my head just before sleep will make my dreams more colorful, detailed and interesting.)

The last few days have been full of what I consider beautiful.  I spent Friday afternoon at Montgomery Place - well, wandering around the grounds actually.  While walking the acres of trees, trails and gardens I felt a strong sense of calm.  It is a rather serene place, from the formal gardens and arboretum to the cascading waterfall on Sawkill Creek.  I saw chipmunks chasing one another, a centipede hiding under a tree root, frogs leaping into a man made pond, hawks gliding over the river in lazy circles, pink lady bugs crawling over petals and bumble bees making their rounds in the flower patches, their tiny legs covered in pollen.  I photographed a dragon fly that settled on a bare rose bush.  I met a woman from New Jersey on the north porch who told me of other notable mansions to visit in the area.  I ogled a grasshopper that looked as though he was the model for camouflage clothing.  What a wonderful way to while away a few hours and get some exercise too.

On Saturday, Tim and I got up for garage sales and a flea market at a local church.  I met a lovely woman who sold me some splendid china pieces as we chatted about how we're both perhaps a little too fond of dishes.  I bought some glass bowls which I like to place beads in when I'm inspired to match them together but don't yet know how I'll turn them into a piece of jewelry.  I looked at lots of vintage jewelry and handmade items.  Tim scored some Star Wars drinking glasses, a new desk and a small baker's rack for our kitchen from some seriously jolly people who gave free candy with every purchase.  I also snapped up a few paperback novels on the cheap.  Then I spent the afternoon tidying, arranging and taking photos while enjoying the sunshine streaming through the windows.  I also bird watched a bit with the cat.  We've had lots of cardinals and blue jays in the yard lately.  I like to listen to her chatter at them through the window screen as they hop around blissfully unaware that she likely wants to eat them (one of the reasons we don't let her outside).  Just after dusk a doe and her twin fawns grazed amongst the trees and tall grass next to our house.  We watched from our bathroom window, huddled and whispering so we wouldn't startle them.

Today I'm feeling domestic and a bit under the weather.  So instead of rambling around the countryside, I've baked two loaves of pumpkin bread, washed our linens and hung them on the line, sent some emails to old friends and made a pizza.  Later I'm going to start a mini-series that stars Benedict Cumberbatch. 

What do you consider beautiful?  What do you seek out when you're looking for pretty things?  Where do you go to find lovely?  

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