the other night I went out to Pete’s coffee with a friend to do a little work and I had a sobering moment. before telling this story I need to confess something… I ease drop and when I say I ease drop I ease drop. it’s probably some FOMO thing. if you do not know what that is google it. anyways I was ease dropping and this idea came over me and gently asked me “do you realize where you are at?”
there were two people working at Pete’s I think one was a new hire and the other was a contractor doing tile. the tile contractor was talking to his partner and he said something about how he has traveled quite a bit and he listed off Santa Barbara as one of the places he had visited and his partner said wow I guess you have been able to get around and see some places. right after he said that I said to my friend Andrew, whom also lived in Santa Barbara with me, I didn’t realize Santa Barbara was such an highly acclaimed travel location, I guess I have been taking it for granted”. within a minute or two later one of the other people working was talking with a customer about a Park that was not to well known. it caught my ear to listen because I like knowing about unheard of things, but she went on explaining this park and how she got there and she said you kind of had to hike to it, but once you go there the view was amazing the trees were all around and there were places to play and set up picnics. the way she was describing it made it sound so majestic and special. just as before a thought came over me again, do I see places special like this?
with these two thoughts combined I started to think about where I am at and if I would describe it in the same way. where I am at may seem ordinary to another person and they might just go on with life without any recognition of the unique place I am at. if I were to describe to somebody where I was at, it would sound like a place out of the ordinary and most likely would gain the response how did you get there.
each location that we go to is a journey and each journey looks different for each person, but what I can gather is that the most ordinary places are special and the most special places are ordinary. it is not about how far you travel to get to the place, but it is what you are willing to see when you get there. the things worth finding take perseverance to get too. the ability to see beauty in the ordinary will provide hope, but finding beauty in the mess will bring gratitude.
this conversation I had with myself brought me to the point of making me realize there is beauty where I am at. I can actually put myself in the future, look back at myself in the present and see that there is beauty. this is not a feel good message that is trying to diminish the present. By no means do I discount the dreadful work, the painful waiting, continual bewilderment, the anxiety that lack of direction causes, or even the scary but ever presence of loneliness. this is real and we may not like to relate to this as ordinary, but I think for many of us it is. so I sit here finishing this article on the campus of Stanford right down the street from the Pete’s coffee that is in one of the most acclaimed neighborhoods in California. a few doors down from here are a McLaren and Porsche dealership.
so I asked myself, where am I? I am at Stanford where most people would go and be astonished by the architecture and landscape. where tourist come to take pictures or the prestige that surrounds them. For me this was a friendly reminder by god that beauty is around me and I am in a beautiful place. I may not be able to see it, but it is beautiful. I am not sure when, but I believe my vision will be restored.( metaphorically)this was just a glimpse of something I was able to realize in the midst of a storm, but these are the things that we are to cling too because if it were not for these quaint visions and messages of hope then how would we know we are loved by something bigger than ourselves and our circumstances. So I encourage you to take it in, take it all in. as difficult as it is take in the mess, the crap and embrace it because it is real, but it is also beautiful.
Tell me in the comment section, what have you found beauty in?