Bruce's Blog


Concentrating on the Jewels

December 12th, 2012


There they are again in my backyard--nine big gorgeous turkeys picking and pecking their way through the gently falling snow seeking the cracked corn we originally put out for the ducks. Oh, yes, there are ducks too--multihued and shimmering against the white ground-covering, and for another splash of color two cardinals in their regal robes and a red-capped flicker feasting on suet. There is a whole flock of sparrows, bobbing and darting in a fantastic aerial display and a little red squirrel with his fluffy tail wrapped around it like a boa. I am surrounded by beauty.

The beauty will still be there in a few minutes when I feel differently about the snow--when I have to get the car out in it to get to work. The colors and grace are still lovely even though the fowls foul the snow and the ground and our deck railing and the bird feeders. The squirrels are not nearly as attractive when they work their industrious little ways into our attic. Often I am prone to complain about the downsides of my existence, rather than lauding the good.

A seasoned piano teacher encouraged her outstanding colleague who was picking himself apart after a recital. "Critique your performance tomorrow. For tonight concentrate on the jewels."

Most of us have beauty in our lives, often the beautiful face of a child looking up to us from loving eyes or maybe a flower in a cracked pot or a snowflake drifting to earth. Often our responsibilities, our sense of inadequacy to the tasks of life, our loneliness or fear or worry crowd out the awe that might otherwise be ours. So in these quiet, reflective moments I savor the beauty of all that surrounds me and hope the same opportunity for all of us. For this moment just concentrate on the jewels. Remembering them may just help us to cope with the mundane and heartless--sickness, fear, worry, pain, loneliness, poverty or death--when it intrudes into our lives.

In the midst of whatever there is for us, the beauty remains when we take the time to see.


#1 Melissa said:

Great advice! I have a collection of little signs with messages to myself that I keep in my drawer at work and pluck one out when I need it. "Concentrate on the jewels" now has its own sign alongside other such useful phrases as "Earn the evening" and "Forge order out of chaos."

#2 Bruce Roller said:

Thanks, Melissa. I love the idea of the little signs and will be starting my own collection with the three you referenced above.

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