Monday, August 29, 2011

Finding Beauty Among Chaos

So we in the Raleigh area survived the hurricane without much destruction, or really much disruption for most of us.  The hurricane move the to east a bit at the last minute, which took us JUST out of the range for the really high winds and rain.  So we were lucky.  Oriental, where my husband has his boat, was not as fortunate, as the eye of the hurricane passed right over the town, resulting in 9 1/2 foot flooding on the main streets and structures by the waterfront.  But even so, there weren't many deaths, and not too much damage, so I think we were lucky.

As I stated in my Saturday post, I did venture out Friday night, which turned out to be a lovely night.  I saw some beautiful art, which was calming after a stressful day of getting prepared for the coming hurricane.  Then two things happened that helped me get a great spiritual message about this whole thing.

I went to the exhibits in the Town complex, which included shows at Page-Walker Arts & History Center, the Herb Young Community Center, and the Town Hall (where I often received personal tours by the artist because I was the only one of the public to be there--unfortunately, since the art was so good).  In walking from the Community Center to Page-Walker, I passed through the Page-Walker herb and sculpture garden. What should I see there but a hummingbird, sipping nectar from some of the plants!  I thought to myself, "A hummingbird in a hurricane?  How bad can it be?"  Then I remembered that among the Native Americans, hummingbird was supposed to be a totem animal representing joy.  So in the midst of all our worry and stress about the coming storm, there was also a symbol of beauty and joy.

My son had a lock-in at the library for his Newbery Book Club, so after viewing the art, I drove over to pick him up.  So I was driving along High House Road, when I saw one of the MOST gorgeous sunsets I have ever seen in Cary.  I was driving along, and when I hit a hill where I could really see it, I would think, "This looks like one of those American Illuminist paintings!"  Really, I was so struck by the sunset that I was probably lucky I didn't have an accident, except that, again, few people were on the roads.

I even tried taking some pictures as I was driving.  They don't nearly do it justice, but are shown below:

So it was just a great reminder to me that even in the midst of chaos and worry and the disturbance it brings to human egos that Nature is powerful and uncontrollable, there is also beauty and joy and wondrous human achievements and characteristics--if we take the time to notice them.

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