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Barbara Dunton enjoying nature and views


As I wake each day, mentally checking on my family members to assure myself all are doing well, I begin to think about my day and am usually enthusiastic and eager, feeling grateful for the good things in my life. Interested in many things, I am especially interested in those who enter my life in  so many ways. Some come at the grocers, sacking, checking, or standing next to me in an isle considering cans of chili with or without beans. Some come through joining a member of my family, my large, amazing family as they become beloved as my own. Some enter my life through my spiritual search and others by paralleling my writing and painting endeavors. So many lovely people to enjoy and learn from.

I choose beauty. On my first visit to Mexico City, I was appalled. The grey from diesel coated the streets and sidewalks, the blowing trash and smears and spittle grossed me out. I was complaining and whining when my companion said, “You don’t like the filthy sidewalk, look up.” I looked up to see the stunning architecture of the Zocolo, the beautiful cathedrals among modern buildings and charming cafes. That became the mantra for my life. If I don’t like what I see, what I am experiencing, I Look Up. Look for the positive, search for beauty.

Anthony Doerr wrote: “The mind craves ease; it encourages the senses to recognize symbols, to gloss. It makes maps of our kitchen drawers and neighborhood streets; it fashions a sort of algebra of life. And this is essential --------- Without habit, the beauty of the world would overwhelm us.   


"Imagine if we only got to see a cumulonimbus cloud or Cassiopeia constellation or a snowfall once a century: there’d be pandemonium in the streets. People would lie by the thousands in the fields on their backs.” I choose to appreciate those beautiful parts of this planet in my part of the world and not be dulled by habit.


We do encounter loss. There is loss. Loss, too much to bear. But I do. We do. I compartmentalize and tuck the grief away until a symphony, a whiff of perfume or a child’s laughter builds the grief in my chest threatening to burst into sobs. But we Look Up and move on.

I experience a passionate movie or a poem and my memories overwhelm me of a lost lover and I descend into despair, but I Look Up and move on. It seems foolish to waste our precious time on negative things we cannot control.

Daily life can dull us. I want to see – really see – the beauty of my surroundings. I want to be aware and care about those around me. I want to live every minute to the fullest. I Look Up.



Barbara Dunton

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