Beauty challenges us

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Natural beauty is something that I’m well acquainted with.  I’ve hiked the Sierra Nevada, camped in the Borrego Desert, and I’m five minutes away from the Pacific Ocean.   None of those places, as beautiful as they are, affected me the way that Point Lobos did.  Point Lobos is so beautiful that it makes your teeth ache.  Every twist in the path brings you to a view that is better than the one you left behind – something you’d think impossible.   Paths strewn with abalone sand, faintly iridescent.  Gem colored water.  The smell of pines and salt water, the sound of waves and barking seals.

The sheer amount of beauty overwhelmed me, and filled me with awe and reverence.  This is the only place I’ve ever been where I vowed to come back dressed properly – my bright shirt and shorts were wrong.  I stood there, looking out, and thought, “This place could cure your heart – or break it”.

Its beauty challenged me.  It offered to heal me,  but it wasn’t soft.  So much beauty, piercing the heart, bringing light to the dark.  But it challenged – if you chose to keep your heart shuttered tight, not to let the light in, one step forward off the trail would solve your problems for life.

True beauty creates awe.   It challenges you to change, to come alongside it, to become a part of it.  But it does not flex or soften its intensity, its power.  It is – will you live with it, or not?

Someday I’ll get back to Point Lobos, and when I do – I’ll be properly dressed.

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