Spirit Matters: ‘Beauty will save the world’

It happens every year about this time.

Memes begin popping up all over social media, expressing eager anticipation for “autumn vibes.”

“Autumn vibes” being all those good things associated with the transition from summer to fall; apple orchards, hoodies, hayrack rides, Friday night football, caramel apples, colorful leaves ... and so much more.

For a long time, autumn has been my favorite season.

While I find immense beauty in all the seasons, autumn has resonated with my soul the most. The coziness and comfiness it provides – what the Danish call “hygge” – is right up my alley.

I can’t prove this, but my DNA might predispose me to favoring autumn more than the other seasons, since I come from a long line of keepers of the land.

In my family, autumn means harvest time. It also means wiener roasts, s’mores, bonfires and all manner of rural, autumn-themed gatherings. Memories of these life experiences are in my bones. Those “autumn vibes,” are indeed, a part of my soul.

I also happen to be one of those “weird” people who like winter too. I treasure the long, dark nights as an opportunity for my soul to hibernate and deepen in the darkness in preparation for a renewed spirit in the springtime.

Speaking of spring, this year I have come to appreciate it in an entirely new way.

My husband and I were married on March 25, just a few days after the spring equinox. We even made our first walk down the aisle as a newly married couple to “Spring” by Antonio Vivaldi.

As we have settled into married life, and I have settled into our home, I, have been able to watch as our garden and the rest of the yard have blossomed in the spring and bloomed in the summer.

Not to mention the bunnies that lurk around every corner, instigating our dog, Zeke into an ultimately pointless and fruitless game of hide and seek.

Perhaps best of all, I have been able to sit on a bench under our grandmother of a tree and allow her to shelter me as I pray and meditate, seeking to remain rooted in the beauty and wisdom of Mother Nature.

While we all have seasons that resonate more or less with each of us, each of them has their own personality, their own purpose, their own wisdom.

I’ve written here before about how a deepening receptivity to Beauty has become my primary “goal” in life. I put “goal” in quotation marks, because having a goal of being receptive to something sounds like a dichotomy to me. One is passive, the other is active.

The changing seasons teach us there is wisdom in both passivity and activity, the feminine and the masculine, Yin and Yang.

As I’ve come to appreciate all the seasons more this year, I have planted a seed of my own recently, which I am allowing to grow organically.

My new endeavor, a Facebook page called “The Way of the Wildflower” is designed to celebrate beauty in all of its forms, in all seasons (actual and metaphorical) and to encourage “being beautiful” as a way of life. By “being beautiful,” I mean remaining open to becoming more gentle, compassionate, understanding, empathetic, humble, forgiving, patient, etc. ... all things I have yet to master myself.

Part of “being beautiful” is recognizing the beauty in imperfection. In cultivating “The Way of the Wildflower,” I get to grow along with everyone else.

If you have access to Facebook, I invite you to check out “The Way of the Wildflower” at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100095713024937.

If you like what you see, and are interested in joining us on our quest for making the world more beautiful, please like, follow and share the page to your newsfeed.

In one of my posts, I shared a quotation from Fyodor Dostoevsky: “Beauty will save the world.”

I humbly and wholeheartedly agree.

Come along with me, and walk The Way of the Wildflower.

SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly column that examines experiences common to the human spirit. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada Novak at jzblue33@yahoo.com to share how you engage your spirit in your life and community.