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  • Wendy Elzinga

Beauty speaks louder than chaos


In these tumultuous times, I want to stay informed about what’s going on in the world without being flooded with anxiety provoking news. Turn on your screens and see images of rioting, hurricanes , wildfires, shootings,and of course in the US we are experiencing the tension of living in a country weeks before an election.

Staying informed for me means getting all sides of a story, especially when strong loud opinions are expressed. I want to know what other voices have to say. It’s harder now than ever to be exposed to other views. You have to intentionally seek them out, and that’s not because their arguments are weak or unfounded but for whatever reason, they are often buried. That too creates some anxiety. The anxiety of being spoon fed only certain views. It’s insulting to our intelligence as a country, as if we are not a nation of critical thinkers, as if we are unable to make decisions based on all information .

But the noisy news can also be addicting and we can lose precious hours absorbing it. It can be very anxiety provoking. Anxious thoughts are loud thoughts. They can be difficult to tune out. And here is where we need to be intentional again. We need to put limits on it, And then we need to intentionally turn toward that which brings us peace. Personally, I have found that beauty brings peace that quiets the loud and anxious mind.

I intentionally planted more “beauty” this Spring than normal, being home bound in March and April made me hungry for the beauty of nature.I planted more seeds and bulbs than I usually do and it has paid off tremendously. After hearing what’s going on in my country and around the world I daily walk the garden, I listen to the birds chirping and watch the bees busily gather pollen and observe what new things are blooming or ripening. It grounds me. It reminds me of the beautiful rhythms and quiet order of nature which continues on despite chaos and uncertainty I see portrayed on the news. It doesn’t make me oblivious to those things but gives me a sense of peace despite those things.

I know I’m blessed to live in this little slice of the world but I also think that the natural world surrounds us all. When I was newly married I achieved this same peace giving affect with planted pots of flowers on my tiny back deck. And even if you are surrounded by concrete, you have the night sky proclaiming beauty and order and something bigger than all of this. And Someone bigger than all of this is the grand conductor of this beautiful natural symphony which is continuously playing through it all. Maybe not as loud but definitely with more truth and peace giving affect and definitely available to all who tune in to listen.


This post has been part of the Five Minute Friday writing challeng. FMF is a writing community that writes for five minutes on a prompt each Friday. Today’s prompt is LOUD. Check out FMF here



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