More on Beauty and Pain and a New Pledge of Allegiance
I’ve written before about beauty and pain. I wrote about the pain inherent in a woman’s personal pursuit to reaching an acceptable level of our societal standards of beauty. The waxing, the plucking, the dyeing…all of that crap.
The beauty I’m thinking of today is the universal beauty of the world. The pain is the gut reaction I sometimes feel in response to that beauty.
I am so often taken aback by the world that surrounds me. Living in the Pacific Northwest will do that to you.
Who wouldn’t be stopped in their tracks by the profundity of the Cascade Mountain range, or the lush soft light of the forests at her feet?
Who could stand unmoved on the precipice of the Columbia River Gorge looking down on it’s namesake waterway as it snakes it’s way to the sea?
From the east it is all blue skies and golden hills and rocks that shimmer in the arid heat, punctuated by banks of white windmills and terraced vineyards.
Farther west it is often cloaked in mists and fogs and rainbows, the landscape softening into vivid juxtapositions of towering rocks clothed in green forests and threaded with white ribbons of waterfalls…like a Japanese landscape painting.
And the beauty of the small things is no less profound:
The bunnies with soft brown eyes and ears that cry out for stroking as they nibble dandelions in the lawn.
The palette of birds at the feeder–flashy yellow Goldfinch, bright blue Stellars Jays, red eyed Towhees, and buff colored doves.
The flora and fauna that clothe my world are, to me, both instruments of joy and a source of sorrow.
This yin and yang pull provides the inspiration to be a better steward of the earth.
At times, I’m moved to tears and the beauty fills my throat with remorse and longing.
Remorse for the damage man has done to the planet.
Longing for a more just and equitable arrangement between man and the environment.
This longing, this sense of sorrow, this inexplicable tug of something that dwells so deep within me and is so connected to nature would leave me to believe that I am more animal than human, more earth than flesh and bone, more natural being than spiritual.
All manner of experience elicits the response:
The recorded song of a pod of humpbacks that can reach a thousand miles;
The sight of a bald eagle gliding effortlessly overhead at the beach;
The rustle of wind as it plays across the tops of ancient trees so far above my head.
The timidity and innocence of a fawn peeking around it’s mother’s legs as we pass by with the dog on our morning walk.
This is the stuff of life that astounds me.
I am unmoved by the infamous, the outspoken, the movers and the shakers of the society of man.
I am frustrated by their fame.
I am concerned with their self focus.
I am witnessing the pain that is the result of their machinations, their illusions of grandeur and their empire building.
I am an Earth child. It is a citizenship that requires much of me emotionally, as I move through the world with appreciation for the beauty of, and acceptance of the pain, of this life.
I pledge allegiance to the Earth,
the home of the United States of America,
and to her foundations,
on which we stand,
one planet, under God,
with liberty and justice for all creation.
©2018 by Ilona Elliott