I find it a little ironic that I am drawing some writing mojo from the jagged red skyline of the St. George cliffs near where my parents live. It’s ironic because my husband and I briefly lived here five years ago, and when I planted my feet on the water-deprived red earth of this town, I thought I had just arrived at Hell’s gates. I’m pretty sure a sage brush rolled by at that exact moment, and I heard the soundtrack of every Western movie playing in the background.
I missed my mountains and everything lush and green. I craved the feeling of a cool breeze instead of stifling summer heat. I only lasted in St. George for six months.
That was before I traveled the long process of finally becoming a mom and started to see life with different eyes. It was before I realized that you can make the choice to take root and bloom where you are planted, or you can choose what I did and let yourself become a plant that’s been moved into the wrong kind of soil and begin to wilt.
But when I became a mom, I discovered that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places and situations. The thing about beauty is that it walks hand-in-hand with perspective, while attitude strolls closely behind.
So it’s not really a brilliant fiery landscape or lush forest scenery reflecting off an untouched mountain lake that determines whether a place holds beauty or not. No, I think it comes down to the eyes that are taking it all in. They are the ones that are solely responsible for determining what is beautiful or not.
And when it comes to being a mom, it is the same. Changing a thousand diapers, enduring countless tantrums, functioning on two hours of sleep, and changing clothes five times a day might be a harsh-looking landscape; but then you see a magical sunrise creep its way over those trenches of motherhood, and everything around you becomes illuminated by the warm golden light of smiles, giggles, hugs, kisses and “I love you,
And perhaps the most spectacular view I have come across is the one that could only be seen on the horizon of adoption. I discovered that the disappointment of only seeing one line on the pregnancy stick month after endless month can be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen when you are holding your three-day-old baby who would’ve never been in your arms if the stick had read positive. And even though he looks nothing like you, you realize that he is, and always was, yours.
I made it through the heartbreak of infertility and came out the other side with grateful eyes that were more open to every good thing that life had to offer me. I felt this amazing sense of accomplishment. Like I had completed a strange but honorable rite of passage through a challenging door of womanhood and motherhood that not everyone has to go through. And I was okay.
Everything in life has the potential to be beautiful. Some things just need a second glance, a chance to prove to us that the view might not be what we expected.
It might be even better.
QUESTION: What things in your life can be given a second glance?
CHALLENGE: Take time this week to find the beautiful scenery among your harsh landscapes.
Pictures courtesy of Kortni Miller