Something About Beauty

This view of our pleasant patch looks west toward our house last night.
This view of our pleasant patch looks west toward our house last night.

My wife Abby and I live on a very nice seven-acre patch in a very small town called Byng, Oklahoma. We are fortunate to experience all seasons here, from sunny, hot summers to cold Christmastimes, stormy springs, and chilly nights at Halloween.

A towering cumulus cloud has a striking silver lining in this image looking west from our house.
A towering cumulus cloud has a striking silver lining in this image looking west from our house.

In all these seasons, the place where we live is beautiful. There are few other words that express it as well as that: beautiful.

Set against tree and sky, this mimosa flower picks up excellent evening light yesterday.
Set against tree and sky, this mimosa flower picks up excellent evening light yesterday.

So what is it about beauty? Why? Is it wired into our brains as a survival strategy? Do we love beauty because it represents the prosperous, the fertile, the productive? Can it be distilled into science like that, or is there something less tangible?

Discuss.

Rose-of-Sharon bushes never fail to amaze my eye, like this one I photographed along our driveway recently.
Rose-of-Sharon bushes never fail to amaze my eye, like this one I photographed along our driveway recently.

Since it is June on our seven acres, I work outside a lot. In the past couple of weeks since we got back from Santa Fe, we’ve had bountiful rain, so the green is very alive and growing, and I am outside working many evenings, sometimes until dark. Last night was no exception, and the patch was nothing short of magnificent, wonderful, beautiful. It is a gift I hope I never fail to appreciate.

A mimosa blossom gently sways in an evening breeze in the front pasture on our patch of green last night.
A mimosa blossom gently sways in an evening breeze in the front pasture on our patch of green last night.
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5 Comments

  1. I was taught young that the “beauty of Creation” was proof of God’s existence (it says so right there in the same book that says raping a virgin is punishable by marrying her). Now I’m not sure. Did beauty evolve to suit us, or did we evolve to think it was beautiful?

    I’ve also become more aware of the ugliness and pain in nature, which provides a fitting counterbalance to the beauty, the contrast that brings the beauty into sharper relief.

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  2. Dr. Miranda Jones: Ugly. What is ugly? Who is to say whether Kollos is too ugly to bear, or too beautiful to bear?

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  3. I’m glad to see a post that’s almost exclusively about your place in Byng. I always enjoyed coming out to shoot, burn brush piles or just hang out, though admittedly I only got to come a few times. It is a great little patch of Oklahoma and I think some of your best images come from right there in your back yard. Y’all are extremely fortunate and I look forward to blog entries about The Farm.

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  4. I have learned as air to lungs so beauty for my brain. It’s required to function. It is a gift for you to live in such a place of growth.

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