Beauty And Our Beasts

The bright moonlit sky has been a blessing on recent dark mornings. It makes me stop and reflect on its beauty. There is something awe-inspiring about looking into the face of that very full moon and believing that someone is looking back.

Just the other morning as I left for work, the headlights of my car caught a young skunk as it waddle-walked along the road at a quick pace. Of course, I slowed so as not to hit the animal. I knew the outcome would be bad for both of us if that happened.

I stopped and watched with moderate interest as the skunk turned and noticed my car. It was then that I realized how incredibly unique and beautiful the skunk was despite its menacing natural defense that could be a stinky problem. It headed behind some trash cans on the road and we parted ways without incident.

I find it curious the things in which people see beauty — skunks, zebras, snakes. While the black widow spider has an hourglass figure with a bright red marking, I would not classify her a fashion model. Others may find the sometimes-deadly brown recluse spider a thing of beauty with its bright yellow, violin shaped tattoo on its back. It again proves that despite their beauty, these spiders still hold danger if they sink their fangs into you. I still recoil in fear at the sight of them.

When we were kids, a warm summer day would find us stretched out on some cool grass, staring up into the heavens. We would allow our imaginations to run wild as we scanned the sky for clouds that looked like sleeping dogs, pumpkins or dragons. There was beauty to be found in that innocent child’s play. It makes me long for those Peter Pan days when cloud watching was the most menacing thing we did all day.

Our parents encouraged the “go outside and play” mentality and we were glad they did. How else would we discover the beauty of minnows swimming in the nearby creek or the incredible markings of a box turtle we found in the backyard? Even raking those glorious red and gold leaves from the huge maple and pin oak trees that lined the street was a thing of beauty every fall. After all we could jump and roll in those piles of leaves for hours.

Some people think snow is ugly and a bother. Kids find snow a great recreational activity and probably a day off from school. There’s beauty to be found among the snowflakes, each as different as the next.

Maybe they just accepted it as inevitable or maybe our parents truly thought the mud we tracked into the house was all part of raising a large family. The mud was a beautiful reminder that we were all healthy enough to run and play in the puddles.

After a week of senseless violence, let’s take the weekend to find something of beauty to make us smile. Cuddle a baby, watch the fireworks at Oglebay, hold hands with someone you love. Now, that’s beautiful.

Heather Ziegler can be reached at: