The Beauty of Difference

The morning skies showed promise for more showers and possible storms as the darkened clouds decorated the view up above.  The shallow puddles dotting the landscape bore testimony to recent rainfall.  The balmy air felt like a soft caress as I headed out the door.  This is perfect weather in my opinion–mild temperatures and overcast skies.  My plans to sort through errands efficiently and quickly just got altered somewhat; the errands would be sorted, but instead I would enjoy the morning beauty in leisurely fashion.

I returned two items to a local discount store chain.  The purchases had been made on impulse–motivated by emotion and rationalized by vanity.  Besides, I had wanted these two items for such a long time and now they were available at such a good price!  So why did I return them?  Lately, I’ve given myself strong lectures to return to doing those things that are essential to health and wholeness and let the other stuff fall to the respectful place worthy of distractions.  Sure, these items were at a great price and of course, they were cute additions to my patio out back (which no one sees but me), but how much more wise it would be to direct the same amount of funds to the maintenance and upkeep of the car.  A well maintained car lasts so much longer; a car with a long life are essential to health and wholeness in my opinion.  Practicality gave way to transforming my outdoor space into an indoor living space.  There is beauty in being different even when the beauty is more a private, inward thing such as one might view a balanced budget instead of an aesthetically pleasing patio.

Next, the water bill was paid and the the car was fuelled up.  The perfect weather was not only great for my mood but also for my body.  I was feeling carefree and pain-free and so I decided to shop for groceries.  I noticed more looks than usual from staff and customer alike and I mentally began to check what I had on today.  I wore typical American boxy-style cotton top and coordinating shorts and white tennis shoes.  I wore no jewelry or other accessories and a bare minimum of make-up.  So what was causing others to glance and smile my way?  Could it be the fiery red hair with an edgy cut?  There is beauty in being different even when the beauty is bolder than typical.

I scooted down an aisle headed for items at the opposite end when I realized this end stocked the international food.  The items at eye level caused me to stop.  I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing.  At first I giggled; then the tears filled my eyes.  Right in front of me there were shelves of Ambrosia rice pudding and custard, various Aunty’s desserts, Batchelors bigga peas, Cadbury Fingers, HP brown sauce, Marmite, McVities digestive biscuits, PG Tips tea, Pims cakes, Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup …  In my local grocers in this small town, there were shelves of British brands of food.  There is beauty in being different even when the beauty is food from a country that now seems so far away.

A few of these food items came home with me, along with other treats from the deli that I rarely buy.  I normally do not shop at this particular grocers.  It’s a wonderful place of culinary delights and a dangerous place for my wallet.  But today after seeing all the wonderful reminders of England, I decided to celebrate the beauty of difference.

Indeed, I have been giving myself strong lectures to return to doing those things that are essential to health and wholeness and let the other stuff fall to the respectful place worthy of distractions.  So this evening you will find me relaxing on my patio, enjoying a bit of a picnic of a few things that I learned to appreciate during my time across the pond, reading a new novel I just picked up at the library and simply having a jolly good time of it in my opinion.

Being different in today’s economy and culture is always a challenge.  There are always demands on your self-respect, your time and your resources.  There is always beauty of difference especially when difference leads to health, peace, and the freedom to be honest with yourself.  There is always beauty of difference when the difference is Love.

 

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