Having children and being a stay at home mom has taught me so many things about life – especially about multitasking! But as a Pagan parent, one of the most important things my children have taught me is seeing and appreciating the beauty all around me. Here’s the top five things my kids have taught me about beauty:
1) Beauty is present in the smallest things. This past fall, as my son and I walked his older sister to school every morning, we noticed a yellow garden spider. This spider stays in one place for most of its life, and every day for months we saw her web among the lily leaves renewed each morning. I might never have noticed this tiny beauty without my son pointing it out.
2) Beauty surrounds us. Children are so observant. Not even the tiniest things escape their attention – unless of course you’re asking them to look for something! A walk that would normally take me about ten minutes turns into an hour long affair when my children are with me. We stop to collect pine cones and rocks, to watch the wildlife, to greet the trees and smell the flowers. In their minds, everything is interesting and bursting with beauty waiting to be explored.
3) Beauty is worth thanking. I am an animist, a believer that all things have a spirit. But in my experience, children are sort of innately animistic. In explaining the world to them, it’s almost automatic to subscribe a sentience to all the things we find around us: the tree grows branches high because it likes the sun, the creek sings because it is happy the snow is thawing. Children extend this in a brilliant way, thanking the stars for being beautiful, the pretty rock for sitting on the path where it could be found.
4) Beauty comes from the heart. As an adult slowly easing into the world of crafting, it’s so easy to write off one’s efforts as amateurish or even just plain bad. But when one of my children gives me a gift, something they’ve made with their own hands, it fills my heart with love. It doesn’t matter how beautiful it looks from an objective eye – if a thing is created in love, then it is beautiful.
5) Beauty is a mindset. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy adult-oriented world, where we make time to pay bills and make sure dinner’s on the table but don’t stop to treasure all the beautiful moments we have. My children have taught me that taking the time to focus on those moments, to enshrine them in my heart, is one of the best things I can do for my own happiness (and theirs too).