Little Bits of Beauty

How is it that some scarves are such works of art while others serve no more than utilitarian function? Why, if it doesn’t alter the purpose of the object, can’t we make all things beautiful?

This is the time of the year when I seek solace in beauty. This is when I make trips to Boston to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, when I seek out the verdant canopy of humid greenhouses, dreaming of undulating palm fronds in great rooms, lacy tree ferns and their husky, fibrous trunks.

This is when I inhabit my visions of a garden room, surrounded by panes of glass, basking in bright, airy winter glory, stealing sanctuary from the coldest winds, laughing off the falling snow. Lemon trees stand in aged earthenware, grown not for their fruit but their flowers. The echoes of ancient civilizations linger in crumbling pottery, wiry pedestals, and the same sky-path of the sun.

Such dreams of beauty are but that. There is scant consolation in the fading straps of an amaryllis or the smoky skeins of yarn mounded in an antique wicker basket. Yet this is what we are given, this is what we must endure, and the winter has not even begun to rage.


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