74 – Beauty

This post is supporting Marsha’s Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC). I invite others to visit Marsha’s post about beauty and other participants. All it takes to participate is a quote, picture, essay, short story, or whatever. Already posted something about Mother’s Day, leave a link in a comment at Marsha’s. She’s a very welcoming host.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

It is beautiful here – so today I wonder about beauty. What is beauty? Why is it different for everyone? Why is beauty in the eyes of the beholder?

We apply beauty to people, places, and things as events, music, arts, architecture, and more. The bottom line: Beauty is a state of pleasure; a specialized level of satisfaction.

From the beauty of the green meadow to the desert landscapes and its limiting green, or the view from the mountain top, memories and scenes capture our attention. How many photos have each of us taken of beauty that just didn’t capture the moment.

For me, I think the most beautiful places I’ve seen. The Nā Pali Coast on Hawaii’s island of Kauai is the most beautiful uninhabitable place. For where people live, Italy’s Amalfi Coast grabs me with an irresistible force. Through my heritage, the valley setting of Bagni di Lucca on the Lima River in northern Tuscany touches my heart.

The beauty of events etches a memory forever. Watching a sun fall behind the Pacific horizon from a plateau above the sea on Kauai was spectacular. Approaching Venice on a cruise ship, then going through a canal to dock street side is a memory stuck in my brain. The colors of the sunrise I see here on this coast are inspiring. The tear rolled down my cheek when I saw my wife walk down the aisle at our wedding.

Beauty is the peace delivered by a different messenger to different people – possibly a baby’s smile, a gentle touch, the togetherness of family, a ray of sunshine, or even a personal walk on a beach.

Nature’s beauty shows through its seemingly infinite design. Snow-capped mountains, sandy beaches, brilliant flowers, colorful fish, a herd of wild animals on a distant slope of grass – let alone the mathematical brilliance of a Fibonacci pattern or the brilliant geometrical designs seen through electron micrographs – even a spider’s web – or how common life processes are accomplished by a range of organisms from a single cell to plants to the largest animal.

The colors displayed by the Grand Canyon’s rock layers are one thing – but how the sun’s angle changes them throughout the day is inspiringly beautiful. Not bad for a big ditch that doesn’t move.

Although beauty can vary across time, cultures, nature, and human behaviors, beauty is also timeless. The beauty of a person’s actions as sincerity, goodness, charitableness, helpfulness, and kindness are just that – timeless and not limited by cultural boundaries – as are the empathetic heart and listening ear.

Beauty – that combination of shape, color, and pattern we find in art. Certain pieces and styles move a person – they stir the soul – but to others, their teeth hurt because their tastes and preferences differ. However, they see beauty elsewhere.

We can hear beauty. From the babbling stream to the roaring water of a grand waterfall, to the calming waters of a walk on the beach, or a walk-in a serene meadow. The physical beauty and natural sounds can capture the soul.

We hear the beauty of words. Some inspire, while others honor. Some words transform us, while others deliver peace and comfort through the right place at the right time.

The beauty of music can transport us to another place. Through instrumental compositions, Rachmaninoff delivers love while Copeland brings pride. Many others do it through their voice that sings the beauty of the lyricist’s phrases.

Motion can demonstrate beauty – the slow motion of a galloping horse or running cheetah – bird’s wings in motion – the elegance of a figure skater or a ballroom couple – time-lapse of a blooming rose.

I look across humanity to see many physical beauties: the glow of Nordic beauty – the exoticness of Middle Eastern beauty – the sensuality of Mediterranean beauty – the kindness in Oriental beauty – the steely and mysterious nature of Eastern European beauty – the regal confidence of African beauty – the uniqueness of Indian beauty that perhaps comes from many years of cultural blending through genetics.

Beauty is something we can see in cultures – through dress, customs, language, and actions. Each of our cultures does something for ourselves, while other cultures may be different, one can find beauty there.

Beauty is not limited to the eyes and ears. Aromas from the kitchen ignite a bountiful of beautiful thoughts and memories. We notice the beauty when our fingers pass over the smooth surface of a fine sculpture or the soft skin of our lover.

Let us not forget the beauty beach shells provide as I walk. From the physical designs to the combination of colors – from the small to the large – the smooth to the ridged. There is beauty in those shells for those taking time to look.

Beauty is an enigma because each of us determines beauty through our lens. More importantly, life is full of beauty for those who not only take time to look and listen – but also to engage all the senses.

Beauty is found in different places and different circumstances. Beauty is unique to the observer because beauty involves a perspective. Whatever one finds as mundane or even ugly, someone else sees as beauty. Then again, an individual’s perspective also changes over time.

The world is stacked with beauty – the people, places, and things. So much beauty to see in the world – both far and wide and close to home. There’s so little time to see it all – so take time to look at what one can.

This beach is a beautiful place providing a collection of various beauties. Thinking about beauty is a reason I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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116 thoughts on “74 – Beauty”

  1. Beautiful post, Frank. You have some beautiful thoughts and lovely pictures. Here is a good quote for your post. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross A great place to find quotes for this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays challenge is 225 Beautiful Quotes on The Natural Beauty of Life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Marsha,
      Oh my … .Love your quote! Thank you! I piece of stained glass that is special to me is the one at our church. Seeing it from the inside by day is much different than at night. Then again, seeing from the outside during the night is much different than during the day. So, perspective is so important.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a big subject, Frank, and you’ve covered it pretty well. I have another little snippet of the beauty you love in my post today. We have Venice in common (though never from a cruise ship- I’m afraid I regard that as sacrilege) but I’ll likely never enjoy the wonders of Hawaii or the Canyon, other than through this wonderful world of blogging. And I will never enjoy aspens with John Denver, but what a beautiful video. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jo,
      Beauty is a big subject, yet I know I covered a lot of ground – but still much more. Maybe that means a part 2 is in the future. There is so much beauty in the world – so I mention them because they are moments that struck me in some way. So tell me …. Where are some of the places that you have visited that you found the beauty to be overwhelming?

      Like

      1. So many, Frank! Sete Cidades on Sáo Miguel and Pico, in the Azores. Madeira. Paros, Naxos and Santorini in the Greek Islands. Venice and Florence, and the Italian Lakes, of course. Hallstatt in Austria. Need I go on? 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wonderful. As I look at your list, outside of the Italian cities, I haven’t been to any of them! Here’s another natural one for me … Plitvice National Park (Croatia) …. and Iceland, which is a natural wonderland of uniqueness.

          Like

          1. Yes- Croatia is one that’s sadly missing from my list. We loved Dubrovnik, but never made it back for the islands and parks further north. So much world, so little time 🙂 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. You definitely have this subject covered well Frank! I did think of one other beauty-related thing which is the beauty of aging. Yes – I know people will read that and say “HUH??” but the beauty one sees in the knowing smile, the wise eyes, the graying hair, the wrinkled hands which have comforted, created, caressed through years of life, all have a singular beauty. We carry a lifetime of experiences – and that brings a special touch of beauty to those who have lived many years, walked many beaches, seen many sights and loved many times over. Wonderful and thought provoking post………and yes – aging is on my mind these days!

    Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      Your points about the beauty is aging are wonderful – plus an excellent addition. During my adult years, when ever asked if I wished to be young again … and my answer is always the same – And to be that stupid again? No thanks. … so I’m right with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post, Frank! 😀
    I’ve seen a little bit of Italy, and there are so many beautiful places there.
    Thanks for linking my poem. I’d forgotten that one, even though it’s a recent one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I can rate beauty, and I was in Italy with children and high school Latin kids–two separate trips. I remember the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, the water around Capri, the hills of Assisi (and so many little towns like that), Venice–just full of beauty. . .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beauty is an intangible. People know what they like and what they don’t like and are moved in ways we cannot understand. “The beauty of a person’s actions . . .” This is so very true. Just because someone has a beautiful face doesn’t mean they’re beautiful on the inside. And that can ruin the entire visage.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always a thoughtful and interesting post Frank. I suppose if we polled everyone in the world we’d have a list so long the internet wouldn’t be able to contain it! The important message is that there is beauty everywhere if only we take the time to see and/or feel it. Thanks for the lovely thoughts to start my day my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina,
      Beauty is one of those words with such a broad definition, plus so personal. I’ve got the feeling, that everything in the world has beauty to someone because beauty comes in so many forms. Thanks for the additional thoughts.

      Like

    1. Margie,
      The beauty of travel in itself offers a variety of beauties …. the physical landscapes, human creations, people and their actions, a variety from the simple to the grand, and the list can go on and on. … and many go hand-and-hand with the beauty of continual learning. Thanks for the additional thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a way of seeing beauty in everything, and framing it in such a way that those who don’t see beauty in the same way can see it. Artists, musicians, writers all have that sense of finding beauty where the masses might miss it.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. You asked if I would participate in your posts, and I turned you down at that time. If you have any ideas of post you might like me to contribute photos to, hit me up again if you would like. Things seem to be at I point I could think about participating.

            Like

    1. John,
      ODC is a wonderful place! 😉 … I actually thought I had removed that – even went back within the last hour and did it again – so the WP Gnomes are working their magic spell on me. For the record, the stream is in Scotland and the others are Iceland.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for mentioning our post, podcast and article about beauty.
    We love the Amalfi-coast as well but it’s unfortunately quite touristy. We found NE-Greenland and the coast of Norway very beautiful.
    All the best
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Klaus,
      Glad you enjoyed this. I’m looking forward to the day when we can get to Norway! No question that Amalfi is touristy, but for me, the natural beauty moves me. Meanwhile, thank you for your contribution to the resources list. When I saw yours in my search then read it, I knew it was what I was looking for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, dear Frank, we did a blog/podcast/radio programme about ugliness as well. Actually, we found ugliness more interesting than beauty.
        Wishing you a wonderful weekend
        The Fab Four of Cley
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, for those who take the time to look! Many people have beautiful things by their side, in front of the eyes, but they don’t see it. They are trying to find beauty in places far away or simple their selfiness is so big that blinds them.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. John Denver… now that is a beautiful voice. Beauty can be found in pretty much anything when we take the time to try to see it.
    I’m curious why you don’t put the names of the authors whose links you add at the bottom?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Bite your tongue. Nat and John are like Pears and Oranges – each delicious for what they are but not nearly the same 😉
        But you write “essay” or “poem” or some such. I was just curious. I’m not tempted to click on any of them without knowing who they are…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I accept your pears and oranges explanation. Interesting that Nat singing has appeared on a commercial on this side of the border.

          Instead of the who, I favored the what. I deemed knowing what they were getting as important. Bottom line, a personal preference. I enjoy the search!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Just trying to say they are both appreciated for what they brought 😉 Oh? What commercial is that? Enquiring minds want to know!

            OK. I can buy that. I think with the number blogs I follow, I just can’t keep up as it is. It’s ridonkulous! I’m barely participating in challenges anymore because I don’t have the energy to read all (or most) of the participants’ offerings – and the purpose of challenges is to share so… sigh. I need to not work full-time (even now, I’m cheating on the job…)

            Like

            1. I think it is an Amazon Prime commercial about delivery – Let’s Face the Music and Dance …. commercial playing off “there may be trouble ahead” lyric.

              I know what you mean. With more hours at the course, I’m cutting back to two per week with an occasional week of three. Having difficulty keeping up, too!

              Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m really moved by this post, Frank. As we begin to dream again after a year of staying so close to home, I’m called to many of the places that have always spoken to me. I need the beauty to replenish what is feeling dry. I have a special love of the beauty of Kauai and beaches far and wide, but much closer to home, Big Sur, or Yosemite or any number of places that we’ve had to avoid for such a long time are calling to me.. It’s really interesting to me how much I responded to this post, hoping to return to some of these places that really do have a place in my heart!

    Like

  10. WhAt a pleasure to find myself here Frank. I love this post, “Beauty is the peace delivered by a different messenger to different people”… how beautiful is that. Lovely to read your work again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel!
      Welcome to the sands of my personal beach. You may recall that when I closed aFa in February 2020, I mentioned the possibility of returning here – which I did in October 2020. I remember you saying that you were looking forward to my return because you enjoyed the beach walks. Before returning, I tried to make contact with you, so when you reappeared this morning, I smiled! Thank you … I invite you to visit any of the past walks. The easiest way is to go to the Topics page because published ones are linked. I’ve also incorporated collaborations with photographers on many walks. Is all well with you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Frank, yes, I’ve always been a beach walk fan. Your beach walks and my own. Since I left WordPress I have gotten a beautiful dog called Hazel, and our footsteps make a daily pattern on the sands, rain or shine. How are you enjoying being back on WordPress?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheers to Hazel! … who I am sure is a loyal companion. When I left in Feb 2020, I was fairly sure I would be returning as Beach Walk Reflections. Then the pandemic came upon us in March – so I spent a lot of time preparing for the return by rewriting all the old beach walks. Therefore, when I started, I had a large bank of walks ready to go. Some involved minor changes, others were merged into one (and rewritten for flow). This has happened several times, but readers made such great comments (here), that I wrote new walks based on their comments, not my thoughts. My role was to bring one voice and create flow. The return to WP has been good – and a mix of carryover people and new readers. What kind of dog is Hazel? Will you be posting more?

          Like

  11. Such beauty in your post and pictures Frank. Stunning actually. Love Napili Coast.. you’re giving me the travel bug!
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Marsha is a great one and wish I had time as she’s a great host plus no one wants to hear freom me 2 times in a day 🤣🤣🤣.
    I think she’s in Cali right now having a ball no doubt! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy,
      Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. As someone else wrote, beauty is a personal sensory evaluation. Well, they used personal and sensory. 😉 I had never heard of NaPali until we arrived … and wow …. is it ever spectacular! I know I have the travel bug! Marsha is a wonderful host. I actually keep my eye on her schedule and try to plan accordingly. Hope you get to travel soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Frank,
        I thihk it’s all of those things and your walk was the example. Oh it’s spectacular and sometimes you can get through with the floods. Marsha is great and glad you found a way to work it in wit your schedule. I’m hoping so too.
        Have a great weekend. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Popular post and I’m late to the party, Frank. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am a sucker for any natural landscape! Even the Italian cityscapes you shared are spectacular. Since we’ve been here in the Spokane area, I’ve commented time and again that there are no bad views. It’s a constant pleasure to drive around and take in the beauty of the area. When I get a chance I want to snap a shot of the Spokane River tumbling through downtown Spokane. It makes the downtown look so unique. Thanks for the beautiful walk today!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You certainly were very thorough in listing all different kinds of beauty in the world. It can make you think the world is still a beautiful place in spite of its problems. You’ve visited some beautiful places and captured them in your photos. It was interesting that you were giving examples of all sorts of ethnic beauty. For a while, I was teaching conversational English to adults online through an app. I talked to people all over the world through video calls, and I was struck by the variety of beautiful (or handsome) faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan,
      Welcome first-time beach walker to the friendly confines of my personal sandy grains. I appreciate how your comment echoing the wide range of beauty that I went after in this walk. Beauty comes in so many forms. The collective of people was intentional on my part … and as I stated in the supporting paragraph, I believe it. From your bio, do you have an Ohio connection?

      Liked by 1 person

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