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Spiritual ABC's -- The Letter B

Walk the path of beauty.  Relish and encourage its inward and outward expressions.  Acknowledge the radiance of the creation.
Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.

My young life was shaped, in part, by walking paths in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  My Dad loved to get out away from the city and follow narrow, steep, twisting paths up to clear, cold, deep mountain lakes where he could fish.  I was, in fishing as in many other pursuits, my Dad's companion and shadow.  What I learned, very early, was that a path took you to your destination.  Wandering along the paths my Dad led me onto, I learned to identify the different species of pine and fir.  I learned to spot the tiny orchids that would grow in the dark and moist places.  I learned to identify the voices of the various birds.  I learned to taste the breezes, and know the ways of thunder storms and puffy white clouds.  Forever in my memory is that small child's view of Dad's dusty boot heels striding confidently up the path ahead of me.  Off the path, it was likely that your socks would get covered in burrs.  Off the path, there was poison ivy and poison oak.  Off the path, steep and rocky hillsides were nearly impossible to negotiate.

In my growing up years, I came to know that getting where you wanted to go meant "walking the path."

A path leading to beauty is an intriguing and evocative image.  Beauty in the outside:  the sunrise which is a part of my morning drive in these early days of the school year; the tomatoes ripening on my patio; the soft, sweet belly spots on the tummy of a sleeping kitten; the sound of my Lovey's laughter, the happy voices of kids in the hallways at school...  Beauty in the outside is easy for me to identify, and if I pay attention to it (see letter A?), I'll marvel and revel in the abundance around me.

Beauty inside is more problematic for me.  Asked to describe my positive attributes, I can easily point to strength and courage and curiosity and intellect, but beauty?  Not so much.  When I think about that inner beauty, I imagine serenity, and calm, and peacefulness, and quiet joy.  I can get to all of those things sometimes.   I know what the experiences of serenity, calm, peacefulness and joy feel like.  I just don't manage to sustain it.

I believe the creation is radiant.  I have seen and felt the radiance.  I know that I am part of all of that, and so I know of my own radiance...  I just have to remember to walk the path.


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