The Solace of Beauty

I have long believed that beauty gives solace when we find ourselves in pain.

It’s one reason I moved to a beautiful place.

Out my window, two birches stand serenely over an old stone wall, a hawk soars over the meadow, the snow has receded to patches.  I will likely walk soon, as I do most days, to Lake Michigan. I will watch, for a moment, the waves. The water’s color and its mood changes daily: sometimes fierce, sometimes placid. It is always beautiful. There is always solace.

I have taken a hiatus from writing here,* but it seems a fitting time to come back. Even here, in rural Wisconsin, far away from the thick of fear and hoarding and shutdowns, it feels somber. Anger, disappointment, anxiety abound; it is time to deal kindly with one another, to give however we can.

In the next few weeks, I plan to give higher tips in restaurants, support local shops, donate food, and check in with my friends who will get lonely.  But beyond that, my help feels small.

However, I DO live in a beautiful place.  So here’s my little tiny gift of beauty. Far it be for me to hoard this beauty that I am able to see every day. For those of you who need to see something beautiful just now, I hope it’s solace for your pain.

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* I spent the first semester of this year as a long-term substitute at a local high school.   I helped students read, think ( hopefully,)  and write words, and thus had no energy left to write my own.


8 thoughts on “The Solace of Beauty

  1. So lovely to read you again Ann….have often wondered how I’d be faring in all of this if I had indeed moved up north two years ago. Seems none of us are free from the dangers. Your words and pictures do indeed bring solace. Thank you for sharing of yourself in so many ways: with the youth, your community, all of us online. I thank you.


  2. Several days ago I googled your postings, so this is so timely. I needed this, we all need your words! Welcome back. I love the photos and can feel those moody waves.


  3. So glad you have found time to share your thoughts and beautiful scenery. Hope your students appreciated your beautiful words and writing skills. I just mentioned to a friend yesterday how I missed your writings and hoped you were okay. Stay well.


  4. Thank you for the beauty of your words and photographs. Thank you as well for teaching our youth. Hoarding is not confined to larger populations. We stopped to see Gary Nelson this morning for an item and noted a small hand written note at the check out counter, “One package of toilet paper per customer.” Gary and I agreed it is crazy. We called dear friends in Basel Switzerland this afternoon, the Swiss are hoarding toilet paper there too. We are happy to be surrounded by nature’s beauty. Thank you for reminding us.


  5. I have missed your postings. Thank you for picking up your pen and your camera and for sharing the beauty of your surroundings and the inspiration of your words with each of us.


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