For a month I have meditated and affirmed beauty, both the beauty of nature and my inner beauty. Knowing that affirmations build consciousness, I do my best to be present as beauty unfolds.
I greet the beauty of each day by waking early and walking outside on the Eastern Promenade, which overlooks a small beach and the ocean. I continue my meditation on beauty as I walk. Today an unshaven, disheveled older man who was retrieving returnable bottles from a large garbage bin interrupted me. I felt impatient and somewhat repelled by him. Then I felt compassion for him and wondered how life had turned him into a garbage picker.
I continued my early greeting of the sun walk and headed toward my favorite rock near the beach. The sun was beginning to add its warmth to the day. I closed my eyes and began to steady and gentle my breath to enter the stillness of meditation. Breathing softly, I began to remember when I was present for beauty and beauty was present for me.
A gruff voice punctured my stillness. “Nice day, don’t you think?
I quickly opened my eyes, remembered that I was alone on the beach, and felt a wave of panic. The man I had spotted earlier stood before me, smiling, with his hands behind his back.
“I have something for you,” he said, seemingly unaware that he had interrupted me again.
Right, I thought to myself, you have one of those dirty, empty bottles that you collected earlier this day. For the first time, I looked directly at him and decided he was harmless.
So I closed my eyes and held out my hands. When I opened my eyes, I was holding a fresh, long stemmed rose.
He looked at me and said, “Beauty to beauty,” and walked away.
I felt stunned. Tears poured down my face. I don’t know if he heard me shout, “Thank you!” I watched him climb into his truck and noticed that amidst assorted bottles and other garbage was a tall, silver pail filled with roses. I smiled and thanked this angel flower man for being a teacher for me for this day.
Excerpted from Awaken by Rosalie Deer Heart