You can’t asume that kindness is an inherited trait. It is learned behavior.

Beauty is illusive, an exclusive gift for each of us, dependent upon preferences, perspectives, attitudes. Yet, beauty is real. It abounds in so many places, so many forms. And here is this place? In this hottest season of the year? Yes, we are surrounded by it.

It waits in the pristine garden with wind-sculpted sand and debris assuming subreal shapes and guards the side of the main entrance as I make my way to early task of work, its wooden door and cristal glass window standing solid and modern-looking under its dim light.

It shines in the living room on those festive sun-brighten days of summer when the cristal glass windows send bits of color dancing on the rug in the gathering place. If we’re at the right time. If we’re aware.

Beauty accompanies us, too, in the rhythm of the day. Morning, midday, dusk, yesterday, today, tomorrow. You can hear it in the cadence of the people’s talking, of long-familiar words. It abides in the blending of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn… Marking the gentle passing of the years. If we notice. It we take heed.

Beauty lives in community customs: dressing the table, cleaning the home, wattering the plants, reading books, watching tv, hearing radio, lightening candles, laundring the cloths, tidying the bed, fixing the house, etc.

Beauty is there each day and all days. It lingers in the shadowing aisle, amid light and dark, and in the many sounds coming from the park. It parties all creatures around. It celebrates the magic of life. It belongs to the Creator and the creatures alike. It describes the inner wisdom of all things, dead and alive. Its humble presence gives stirs to transform our surroundings and change our lives.

And beauty smiles with us in the telling of the stories of our very lives, the “Do you remember when” bits of history that makes us laugh, make us sad, bind us together with these fellows, men and women with whom we’ve lived through the years.

Oh yes, beauty is here. We are surrounded. Immersed. But we need to be alert. To be aware. To take the time. It’s like kindness or reading or driving, it has to be learned in order to be mastered by us. And, in doing just this process, we transform our lives and become more human beings as we are.