Calm, focus and beauty.
Those words came right off the side panel of my Peach Mango herbal tea box.
Did you read the "Tasting Notes"?
Tropical flavors. . .subtle earthy finish.
I didn't know whether to brew a cup or plant the tea in my garden.
Actually, I do feel calmer and more focused drinking this delicious tea, which I found at our local Safeway. (No one is paying me to say this. Scout's honor.)
So, what about beauty?
Ah, I'm glad you asked. Beauty is all around us. It's up to us to simply notice its existence.
Sometimes that means pulling over to the side of the road to photograph the beauty of a peaceful winter scene.
"He has made everything
beautiful in its time."
Sometimes we create the beauty, and this brings me to the subject of beauty in the home. This month I read two excellent posts from blogging friends about decorating our homes in a fashion that is uniquely ours, without concern for what others may choose to do with their own homes. Kim of Exquisitely Unremarkable wrote Independent Interiors: Decorating on Your Own and Rue of An Old-Fashioned World wrote Every.single.day. Both women, who have beautiful homes, share thoughts about creating spaces that reflect who we are, what we love and what's important to us.
As I read the words of my friends I thought about our mantel. I've kept it very simple. It won't win any vignette design awards, and that's okay. It reflects who Dennis and I are, what we love and what's important to us.
I love my husband's art, and I want to enjoy his sculptures and paintings every day; to celebrate his God-given talent and share it with all who enter our cottage. A favored birdhouse, pine cones, and a silver tray (a wedding gift) that I've left to tarnish to a wonderful patina. A few red apples rest in the tray's curves.
A finished rug ready to come off the loom. Not perfect. There are things I will do differently next time. But I know it's useful, and I believe it's beautiful.
I enjoy twining immensely, although I have much to learn. To help me master the craft I ordered Bobbie Irwin's book Twined Rag Rugs. It just arrived yesterday with Dr. Marilyn Glenville's book Osteoporosis - How to Prevent Treat and Reverse It.
Did you notice the beauty of these book covers? I think the photo of the woman walking on the sandy beach is especially beautiful. I'm certain my bones have improved just by picturing myself in her place.
Reading, twining, drinking tea, capturing a winter scene with my smart phone, arranging the mantel and sharing it all with you.
It's everywhere my dear Cottage Friends.
I'd love to know what beauty you've noticed today.
"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV