There is a famous saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ The dictionary definition of beauty is, ‘the quality of being pleasing and exciting to the senses’ Something one person sees as beautiful another person may not see this way. There is no right and wrong, just different ways of seeing the world.
At the moment a pair of swallows is roosting in my car port. They built a mud nest there last year and raised a family. I think they are beautiful and I love to see them flying in and out or sitting on top of the roller door. They bring me much pleasure and joy. Yes, there is a pile of bird ‘poo’ under the nest but I clear this away regularly and put it in my compost bin. The swallows would not be beautiful to some people but they are to me.
I also think sparrows, pigeons and doves are beautiful. They may not be colourful like rosellas and parrots but I find them beautiful. Noisy miners annoy some people. I know they are aggressive, just ask the doves that feed in my front garden and get ‘dive bombed’. I saw hints in a gardening magazine of ways to discourage noisy miners from coming in to the garden. However, I don’t want to discourage them.
Some people don’t think ‘common’ flowers like geraniums and daisies are beautiful but I do. A paddock of sour sobs, dandelions or salvation jane can look pretty. I probably wouldn’t see these weeds as beautiful if I was a farmer and I must admit I do pull them out of my garden.
The desert can be beautiful. There is something awesome about all that space and the peace. The harshness has a raw, honest beauty to it. In contrast, when the wildflowers bloom the desert is transformed and is beautiful in a different way. The desert is especially beautiful after heavy rain when the lakes and lagoons fill with water and birds congregate.
I think a dead tree can look beautiful. Like many people I am also drawn to a tree covered in leaves and perhaps some flowers. However, I see real beauty in looking at the framework of a tree silhouetted against the sky. This is particularly beautiful against a sunrise or sunset. You get a good view of any birds sitting on the branches too.
Stones lying on the beach can be beautiful. All sorts of things washed up onto the sand can have an appeal about them. Driftwood buffeted by the waves and sandpapered by contact with sand and rocks can be smooth to the touch. I enjoy taking photos of things lying on the sand at the beach.
Sometimes I see something I find beautiful in the midst of ugliness. There may be a flower growing in a pile of rubbish. It could be a seagull at the dump or a church spire pointing to the heavens behind rusty roofs. The beautiful thing seems more so because of the contrast with the drab or ugly surroundings.
I am impressed when an artisan takes something ugly that has been discarded and crafts it into something beautiful. I think it takes real talent to see the potential for beauty in something ugly and then think of a way to transform it. David Hume, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher, historian and essayist said, ‘Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.’