There is so much that is unpleasant around the world, it can really get to me. I sometimes feel I have compassion fatigue, empathy fatigue, donation fatigue and wish I could be like an ostrich and keep my head in the sand. I feel sometimes that I’ve forgotten how to pray or meditate and that I don’t know how anymore –

But there is so much that is lovely, and softening, and beautiful.

Please go to 2nd page of this post for reading – it’s truly lovely –

Closer to home on my walks, or up early in the morning to see the sunrise, to see a flower in bloom, the sky and strange cloud formations. The night sky and stars, the bird calls, butterflies, bees …

from my bedroom balcony
pincushion from my son’s garden
candle on my study desk which I light every now and then for loved ones and for the world
rainbow over there from my balcony
different rainbow, different day on sea from my balcony
red plant on sidewalk
strange plant on sidewalk – reminds me of praying, or like the Buddha touching the earth or is it like an ostrich –
strange person on beach (me)
flamingoes on lagoon
quote on sugar pack at coffee shop
laughing buddha on my dressing table (I think it was my mother’s)
my husband’s spinach patch
owl in tree on my son’s property here in Plett
other-worldly markings on tar road outside my home
This is NOT my photo of the Robberg. Taken by Carol Main who I gather is resident here in Plettenberg Bay and posted on one of the Plett feeds –
full moon a while ago

Dr Ian McCallum is a South African psychiatrist, Jungian Analyst, ecologist and poet. The link I’ve given is a wonderful and fierce read and I felt uplifted reading it. He notes ‘How ironic that 2020 is the symbol of perfect vision. If we had such vision, then we must have seen it coming’. What will we do with this ‘perfect vision’? He writes about the earth, society’s and the individual’s response to ‘I can’t breath’ and much else besides ….

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/ecological-and-psychological-perspective-year-coronavirus-reflections/

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.

68 Comments on beauty

  1. I am commenting for the second time susan, I saw my comment disappear:) Just wanted you to know that I loved every image you posted – liked the rainbow, candle, green batch and of course your beautiful self. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Another one of yours in the spam queue Genevieve, I am so sorry about that! It’s a good idea to check every now and then; the last time I checked was quite some time ago but I’m glad I did.

  2. Wow Susan I loved every picture you posted from different settings, your bed room, balcony, your son’s place and the beautiful green patch and the lighted candle… felt so positive just looking at these images, thanks for sharing:)

    • I’m glad you felt positive at the images Genevieve and I’m so sorry that I am seeing this comment and 2 previous ones only NOW! They were in a spam queue.

  3. Your pictures are so uplifting Sue and Ian’s words are so profound. God willing this will be the ” turning point in our history for the makings of some of the most important political, economic, ecological and personal decisions of our lives “. God forbid we don’t learn the lesson.

    • Thank you for coming by Sheila, great to see you here! Thanks for saying about the photos πŸ™‚ I agree, Ian McCallum’s commentary is so profound. Please pass on his link wherever you like Sheila. Bring it to the boardroom, your friends and colleagues – Yes, we’re at a pivotal moment … but like this changing weather and Spring being capricious (promises of new growth then she smacks us with severe winter weather all over again), we have to weather whatever storms are still to come our way. As we know, things are extremely tense here in SA – on all those fronts …

      Have a lovely week Sheila πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Susan – you are right to focus on the beauty and these are really great pictures. I especially like the one of the owl – I’ve never seen an owl in person and they are fascinating to me. Hope you are doing well. I just discovered that a bunch of blogs I follow went to my email Spam – I’m glad I finally saw this.

    • Thanks for coming by Barbara, Im glad you liked the pictures! The owl has many metaphorical/symbolic meanings. For our indigenous people here in SA it can be seen as a harbinger of doom. For many though it is symbolic of much more. “An owl is to the night as an eagle is to the day”. Wisdom, intuition and much much more .. it was surprising to see this owl in the daylight and s/he had perched on that tree at my son’s home for a few days running. Thanks for reminder about spam, I must check that too … it’s happened a few times πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

  5. This has been a long year and today, for me, has been extra long. Thanks for this uplifting post. Your photo are wonderful, too. Stay safe, be well.

  6. It’s good to focus on the beauty around us. It’s hard to have so much uncertainty regarding the pandemic and feel like I am in limbo. I know it will end hopefully sooner than later.

    • Thanks Deborah – yes, uncertainty is very uncomfortable making especially regarding the pandemic. It rises then slows down then rises again … Let’s hope that the danger ends sooner rather than later … stay well and keep safe.

  7. What GORGEOUS photos – and your balcony is heaven-sent. I’ve noticed that the days I need to meditate the most are the days that I find it hardest to meditate. But I try to have a schedule and keep to it – 15 minutes at 6:30 a.m. and 25 minutes at 5:30 p.m. Keeping to the schedule helps.
    About three weeks ago a friend e-mailed me (she lives on the other side of the U.S.) that just said, “Read the new book BREATH by James Nestor!” So I ordered it and read it and isn’t it amazing how Breath and Breathing are a central theme this year? It’s a fabulous book, by the way.

    • Thanks Pam for coming by. Your response last night gave me the go to do my morning meditation this morning. I agree getting into a schedule is the best way – discipline becomes a (good) habit πŸ™‚

      Great that you noted that Breath and Breathing are central themes! I’ve heard of James Nestor’s book, will check it out. Do check out Dr Ian McCallum’s link or save it for later. It is so worthwhile … Have a lovely weekend.

  8. Thank you for sharing such beauty with us, Susan. I loved seeing the photo of you on the beach, the skies, the plants, your mother’s Laughing Buddha, and all the rest. May you be safe and at peace. I’m feeling a little better with Kamala Harris’s nomination–an African-American-Jamaican-Indian female politician married to a Jewish man. Yes! And her middle name is Devi or “Goddess” in Hindu. Is she perfect? Of course not. No one is, but she’s experienced, smart, and tough enough to withstand the abuse the Tr**p team will dump on her. Whew! I don’t envy her the job.

    • Thanks for coming by Elaine and I’m glad you liked the pictures! Glad that the Biden-Harris ticket has helped make you a little more hopeful. What a lovely mixture of ancestors she has! And lovely about her middle name. She and Biden have a task up ahead but I gather the world is also hopeful about these two.

      I really hope you can access Dr. Ian McCallum’s piece of writing. It’s pretty profound. If you were on your phone it may not have been ‘visible’ but my son fixed that for me several hours ago. I’d inadvertently made a page break when I put up the post so for some my post seemed to end after the last photo!

      Loving seeing your photos of the Monarchs. You really are their queen. Be well and safe.

  9. Thank you, Susan. I needed this lift today. Yesterday felt like a very long monotonous year, one that never ends. I don’t want to complain either since I have all the things I always had, a job, family, health, but the state of the world gets me down and I sometimes have trouble rallying. Your words and pictures helped immensely. Namaste. xo

    • Thanks Pam for coming by and for sharing your experience of this world and its getting down-ness and difficulty in rallying against the oppressive of it all. Glad my post lifted you a little bit. I really hope you read Dr. Ian McCallum’s piece for a lift of another kind – and feel free to share his piece (use the link) wherever you wish if you wish. It’s long but so worthwhile. Namaste to you too … xx

    • Thanks Merril, I love seeing your nature posts too! I hope you are/were able to access Ian McCullum’s piece. I think the β€˜page break’ sort of made it not so accessible. My son has hopefully sorted this out –

  10. The Lauching Buddha cropping up again – I’ve only just learned a bit more about him, that he wasn’t the one-and-only Buddha enjoying a joke but one who went from town to town, never speaking, his infectious laugh spreading like our very own little virus. I liked your other photos too, I’ve become very sombre of late, I don’t always “see” things any more and I haven’t been capturing moments where once I did. Time to stop despairing at what is being, has been, lost forever but to start appreciating what still exists, for however short a time. Thanks for this post.

    • I laughed at the ‘Lauching’ Buddha Elizabeth! See you made me laugh … πŸ™‚ Many years ago I went with my sister and two sons to a laughing yoga demonstration, believe me I hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. It took a 100 years off me at least! Laughter must be in the air. Just now I went downstairs, my husband is preparing lunch and our son is coming. He wanted onions and garlic chopped. I said I’d help him a bit and asked him to get the skins off the onion meantime. He mentioned that he had never cut an onion ever. Well, he took one half of the peeled onion and I the other and we commenced chopping. In next to no time he was prancing about the kitchen yelling EINA! eina eina … I honestly was crying I was laughing so much …

      I do hope you read Dr. Ian McCallum’s piece Elizabeth. You may know of him .. I love the use of his word ‘fierce’ …

      And thank you for coming by πŸ™‚

  11. Your photos are gorgeous, Susan, and the linked page timely. I guess the bushfires over here heralded the year of being unable to breathe. May we all breathe more easily soon.

    • Thanks for coming by Norah and glad you didn’t miss out on Dr. Ian McCallum’s link. Omgoodness, the Australian fires are an excellent example (though tragic) of inability to breath … the more I think about it and how breath is so automatic that we pay it no heed, the more I realise how precious our breath is and allows us our voice ..

      • Yes, that’s very true, Susan. It’s a year when we all need to relax and breathe, and allow others (including our Earth) the opportunity to breathe also.

  12. Hi, Susan – I totally understand empathy fatigue and forgetting how to meditate. It is comforting to know that someone whom I greatly admire (you) experiences this as well. Thank you for following up with the ‘beauty all around us’ photos. They are simply stunning!

    • Thanks for saying that this fatigue affects you too Donna. A few have said so and this is comforting to know that it is not ‘just me’. Your posts and wonderful photos always bring a sense of calm to me and for that I am truly thankful, and in awe and appreciation at the beauty that surrounds you in your walks and hikes.

  13. We are two peas in a pod, Susan. Your photos are spot on. As you know, my focus word for this year, 2020, is beauty. A commodity sometimes difficult to find unless we go about the search with intention.

    I like especially “strange person on the beach” – ha! Like you, I also suffer from compassion fatigue. My husband says I should never pursue a counseling career. The tissue box would be as much for me as for the client. %-)

    • Thanks for coming by Marian. Yes I remember now that beauty is your focus word for 2020 (perfect vision) πŸ™‚ I like that beauty happens even without intention though true that we sometimes have to seek it out.

      ‘strange person on the beach’ clearly appealed to you! I’m laughing! There is beauty in laughter too. And in sadness –

  14. Hi Susan, A powerful opening paragraph. You say very well what many of us are feeling and experiencing right now.

    There is always a right time to share beauty. Especially now. Our planet offers us gorgeous views.

    I often light a candle because it sets the mood for me. I had not thought about β€œ…which I light every now and then for loved ones and for the world.” I will start doing this.

    A fascinating and thought-provoking post by Dr. Ian McCallum. A huge WOW on β€œFierce.” Among many other things, how β€œit nurtures.”

    Thank you for sharing the good, the bad, the education, the optimism, the perspective.xxπŸ’•

    • Thank you Erica for your lovely comment. I guess in some way I had a need to share beauty to offset everything else. Every day things – the mundane in amongst the ordinary. (I remember you liked that πŸ™‚ )

      The candle lighting every now and then is a bit of a ritual for me. I bought it especially not that long ago even though we have many different candles of all shapes and sizes around the house. I have to remember to blow it out before I go downstairs again!

      I’m so pleased that you found Dr. Ian McCallum’s piece. It struck me rather fiercely I have to say. A mutual friend sent it to me otherwise I would not have seen it. It gave me the oomph to write. xx πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Susan – PLEASE check out the link on the next page of my blog, which is such visionary writing by Dr. Ian McCallum. The year 2020 seen as symbolic of ‘perfect vision’ – now is the time to see perfectly clearly ..

  15. Lovely pics and a great reminder that we would do well to dwell more on the beautiful things surrounding our world. Totally identify with not being sure if I can meditate anymore…..

    • Thanks Didee … I’m sure those magnificent mountains bring a great measure of joy. These times are also referred to as the ‘great freeze’ where we feel everything inside is frozen .. I feel that too sometimes.

  16. Hi Susan – yes similarly to you … one has to keep going. The plants have been just beautiful this year … lots of sun and not much rain – though could do with some.

    I think the plants are Persicaria amplexicaulis, and Echium Pininana – I believe … very similar anyway …

    It’s too hot here to do much … I’m definitely not a hot weather person … take care – and there is good in the world … it just needs its turn again – way too much bad – but I try and ignore …

    Take care – and enjoy the beauty of Plett … Hilary

    • I’ve heard how the heat is pretty crippling Hilary in the UK. Thanks for naming the plants. These are details I would never know. Are you a budding botanist? English gardens and wild fields are always so special. Stay well and thanks for coming by, Susan

      • Hi Susan – yes it’s boiling … should break shortly – I sincerely hope!

        No I’m no gardener or botanist … but for some reason names come to mind … and I’m sure if I’d lived here – I’d have picked up more … it frustrates me though … that I don’t know – so I try and find out.

        Yes our countryside is lovely … and I’m enjoying the summer weather … and staying sane – take care – Hilary

  17. I love your pictures, Susan. You live in a beautiful part of South Africa and have a lovely beach to visit and walk on. I’ve walked around my garden so much, I’ve worn a little path in the grass.

    • I love your photos that you sometimes post Robbie of spring starting to show or just unexpected plants popping up. Careful you don’t turn the path into a road πŸ™‚ do you go outside? Thanks for coming by-

      • To be honest, Susan, I haven’t been out much. I’ve been to the shopping centre twice in five months to the dentist and the physiotherapist and once to my sister. My sisters and aunt have visited here a few times but that is the sum of my outside ventures.

        • Well done on the social distancing Robbie. I seldom go to the shops, am in need of dental hygienist, physiotherapist (or some such) but am too nips for that! You have much to keep you occupied at home and in very creative ways too .. πŸ™‚

  18. You see, there STILL is so much beauty in the world to see and appreciate. This pandemic is reminding us to appreciate the small things in life as they are important too.

    • So much beauty Gwynn … I’m sure you see it too walking about Paulsbo. Please check the 2nd page of my post. There is a lovely piece of writing by Dr. Ian McCallum..

      • I definitely missed Ian McCallum’s powerful post. It is critical to find our voice and to be seen. In wearing our masks, suddenly it is difficult to identify our friends. This is why it is more critical to stand up for our beliefs so that people CAN see and identify us. But we can be identified by the small things that we do and appreciate. Learning to be seen and heard is not necessarily by the large things we do, it is about the subtle beauty and the unique way we do small things to add beauty to our world. Thank you for pointing out that I had missed your second page. It is quite meaningful.

        • Lovely comment Gwynn and I’m glad that you felt the nudge to read the link! I think a few missed it. ‘Learning to be seen and heard is not necessarily by the large things we do, it is about the subtle beauty and the unique way we do small things to add beauty to our world’. That is so beautifully put thank you πŸ™‚

  19. Thank you for the beautiful images. That strange plant looks like a flamingo neck and head to me….opposite of the ostrich who buries her head, this one is fully alert! -)

    • Ha ha re the flamingo Jeanie, yes now that you say – a far better representation than the ostrich. Thank you for coming by πŸ™‚

  20. I feel the compassion fatigue, too. I can’t cry over everything. I wish I could. I know that ‘strange plant’. We have it in our neighborhood, where I walk my dog. I have no idea what it is!

    • I think that β€˜strange plant’ is some kind of succulent looking at its source. Thanks for coming by Jacqui … check out the 2nd page of my post, save it for later, but it’s truly a lovely piece of writing …

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