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The reason I am drawn to nature, to the visual arts, to design, to philosophy, to poetry, to music, to various cultures, is all summed up in one word - beauty. I have learned to appreciate beauty in the everyday and the ordinary, and in the well-crafted and creative. I believe beauty is a gift, something given to sustain us through the harder and more humdrum parts of our lives. It's this sense of 'gifted' that I am seeking to cultivate in my own spiritual practice - in order to be a person of gratitude, in order to grow in my appreciation of all that is beautiful, and to come to a greater appreciation of the one whom I believe to be the ultimate giver - the God and Creator of all.

That doesn't mean that every flower and plant, every piece of music, every painting or drawing, every poem, I encounter only has meaning if I can assign it some 'spiritual value' - learning to appreciate these things for their own sake is also a part of my own learning and growing. It's that I am learning that behind it all - the beauty of the earth, the creativity of human beings, the sights, sounds, scents, textures, and even tastes I encounter - I believe there is an opportunity to see something of the Divine, when I am open to it.  

James 1.17

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.