I am spent in all the most perfect ways this morning.  My mind is clear and calm, my arms a little languid, my breath steady in and steady out.  photo(3)

After a weekend spent shaping the farm seed by seed and branch by branch, I feel the deepest peace I have felt in a long time.  It’s as if I was reminded that yes, here, this soil, this wind-swept farmhouse on the hill.  Yes, here.  Now.

In this peaceful place, I crave more beauty.  I see it in the off-white blossoms coming to the crooked arms of the plum trees outside the front door and in the pink petals of Elberta the peach.  I catch it in the gleam of Meander’s tawny coat as she lays behind me at the open door.

Yet, I want this beauty to come by way of words, too.  The Book of Nature and the book.

So I pick up Diane Ackerman, for no writer I know layers beauty with as much grace.  I read.

Touch, by clarifying and adding to the shorthand of the eyes, teaches us that we live in a three-dimensional world.  We look at a photograph taken with someone we love at a small one-llama circus in a rural town, and remember the stickiness of that summer day, the feel of the llama insinuating its velvety nose into our shirt pocket, into our hand, under our arm, and around our chest, gently but irrepressibly looking for food. At that moment, the word “llama” becomes a verb in our vocabulary, because you have to llama your way through life from time to time. – from A Natural History of the Senses

I run the rough skin of my fingers over my wind-chapped lips and feel the slice on the tip of the pinky finger on my left hand, a gift from the previous owners who left broken glass all over the hillsides.  The back of my antique desk chair pushes against my SI joints; I feel a crack, a shift, as my hips slide into place after a night on a too-soft bed.

I take the beauty of the body from Ackerman’s words, and I twirl it in figure-eights above my head, remembering my mom’s childhood dream of becoming a majorette.

I take it all, breath it steady in and steady out.  The sunlight day of grace.

Where do you take your beauty and grace today?