Beauty Changes

Today is Candlemas in the Christian tradition, the lighting of candles to look towards the end of winter, layered on the earlier Celtic feast of Imbolc.

Beauty changes; it’s not static. The seasons change. All the leaves fall off the trees, all the flowers disappear. Everything becomes bleak in winter when there is hardly any noticeable contrast, except in shades of dark and light. Now we might say that spring is more beautiful than winter, if we prefer vibrant colors, beautiful flowers, an the kind of energy that spring brings. But if we open our minds, we also begin to recognize the subtle beauty of winter. We can appreciate the lack of color and silence of winter as much as the energy of spring.

This appreciation comes from not having opinions about things being perfect in a static way. It comes from seeing that the rose is a perfect rose in spring, summer, autumn and winter. For static perfection, you need a plastic rose, but that’s never as satisfying.

Ajahn Sumedho, The Mind and the Way

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