Beauty Through Anything

Pummeled. Pounded. Pulverized. I could go on with words to describe the freakish twin tornadoes that decimated three-fourths of Pilger, Nebraska, the other day. And I know Liz, one of the hometown gals, from this quaint farming town now obliterated to rubble and nothingness. It was surreal to watch a nationally televised aerial sweep of Pilger and spot Liz’s family home still standing.

IMG_2584 - Version 2Pilger, with its 350 people, is three times the population of my hometown. I get the tranquility of small town living. The neighborliness of folks who even know your middle name. The recovering together when adversity roars with an unpredictable vengeance.

And I, like author Kathleen Norris, understand the tested resiliency of farmers, ranchers, and rural villagers. After living a number of years in voguish New York City, Kathleen returned to the rugged lands of her pioneer ancestors. Stumbling through her adjustment to the unforgiving landscape of western South Dakota, Kathleen wrote in her book Dakota, “I had to stay in this place, like a scarecrow in a field, and hope for the brains to see its beauty.”

Staying put. Riding out the isolation of the barren flatland or the desolation of a tornado-stripped community and hoping to see the beauty in the present. Somehow in our day-to-day and major life event struggles, we are designed to experience beauty poking through our layers of disbelief and depletion.

As the people in Pilger now exemplify, beauty comes in the people who stand by us through thick and thin. Beauty comes in learning to dwell on what we do have instead of on what we lack. Picking up the pieces unfolds fresh beauty as we shift our trust in the things of this world. Oh, for the determination to stay when we feel like running and the brains to see the beautiful good no matter which way the wind blows.

Brave and Resilient Tip #71: Determine to see beauty through anything.