Springtime Truth and Beauty
By Alane Cunningham – Contemporary Retirement
Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty-
that is all you know on earth,
and all you need to know. –John Keats
The famous last lines of John Keat’s “Ode to a Grecian Urn” is the perfect sentiment to get us thinking about Spring. John Keats died from tuberculosis at the age of twenty four, but he still had an appreciation of all that life has to offer.
In retirement it is easy to forget the beauty that abounds. It is all too easy to focus on the negative. Financial news is bleak, the environment shows us how quickly catastrophes can strike and we are constantly reminded how we may have ruined pretty much everything for the next generation.
So what can we do to find the truth? We can appreciate all that is around us. We can become observant. Too often we look at things without really seeing the beauty of nature. When we experience the natural world our senses tell us what is real. To see, feel and smell a flower in bloom is a real experience and can be enjoyed by just about everyone. Trust your senses and they will lead you to enjoy the natural beauty of your environment wherever it is.
No matter what part of the country you live in, by most accounts it has been a rough winter. Spring is coming and it is the best time of the year to take a walk and enjoy everything. Having lived in a northern climate most of my life, Spring was probably my favorite time of the year as you could experience a real renewal of everything, and observe nature during its most beautiful time of the year!
On a recent walk, upon meeting my neighbor, she complained about the pollen the trees were producing. She did not see the flowers producing the pollen or the new leaves or even the tree itself. Clearly, she did not find the truth of beauty. I also remember my father in a hospital room looking out the window wondering about the little bit of nature he could experience through that window.
Then I think how lucky I am to simply be able to go for a walk and enjoy all that is around me. It is a magical time of year. It takes no money, it takes no one else, it only takes you to look, listen and smell what is around you.
Enjoy this spring!
About Alane Cunningham
Alane is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the University of Michigan after 27 years. She currently lives in Florida in a small beachside community with her husband. She navigates retirement with human nature observations realizing everyone must find their own way to happiness through this passage of life.