Last December, amid the pre-vaccine, pandemic days, I decided that a change of perspective was crucial. So, on my daily walks or runs, I searched for things that I could post on Facebook under an “ISeeBeauty” hashtag. Perhaps not surprisingly, when I looked for beauty, I found it.
As I described on my page at the time, the idea was inspired by my brief experience living in Italy. It seemed to me that Italians saw (and valued) beauty in all things: in their food, their art, their design, their clothing, and their community. There may be no better symbol of this than the passeggiata. Every Sunday evening in my neighborhood, the locals put on their Sunday best and strolled. They stopped to chat, ate gelato, and admired one another’s children. I recognized no real agenda other than taking time to celebrate “la dolce vita.” It truly was beautiful.
A few months ago, my Facebook account was hacked. I spent many hours trying to rescue it, including numerous unanswered emails to the Metaverse. No luck. As I reflected on what I may have lost, two things came to mind: connections I would likely struggle to re-find (including many of my former high school students) and my ISeeBeauty posts.
I did, however, have the photos on my phone. Below, I offer a collage of some of my favorites.
John Lubbock, in The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live In, wrote,
What we do see depends mainly on what we look for ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.
I plan to resume my hunt for beauty in the coming weeks and invite you to join me. Goodness gracious, we still need it. And please, share what you saw and if/how the very hunt impacted you.