How Do We Nurture Beauty?
This month’s theme—Nurturing Beauty—reminds us humans that we are more than just passive admirers or recipients of beauty. We have an active, mutual relationship with all that’s beautiful, whether the beauty lies in things, experiences, people, places, ideas, or whatever you find beautiful. If nurture means to “care for and encourage the growth or development of …,” then when we nurture beauty, we become its partner, drawing it out, helping it to unfurl, much as a gardener’s loving attention makes it possible for their plants to thrive. In return, we receive the life-giving energy, encouragement, and sustenance that beauty provides.
To understand this mutual relationship, we lift up stories from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Around and through these stories we thread some beautiful music: hymns #21 “For the Beauty of the Earth,” #163 “For the Earth Forever Turning,” and #203 “All Creatures of the Earth,” along with the haunting sounds of a Navajo healing song played by John Ector on his indigenous flute.
Partners in nurturing the beauty in each other, we share our Joys and Sorrows, too.