Bon Bini, Grace. That means “welcome” in Papiamento, a local language spoken in Aruba. People on the island were hospitable from the moment we landed on our flight. Three friends and I took a taxicab from the airport to our accommodations, a one-bedroom apartment. We settled in and walked to the nearest market. The grocery trip was an experience, observing the packaging of food, the cost, and the differences from the California markets. We caught a shuttle nearby from one hotel to the end of another resort and walked a short distance back to our apartment.
Once we put everything away we changed into our swimsuits to what would be the first of many trips to the ocean, which was within walking distance from our room. The ocean was a beautiful shade of blue. The sand below our feet appeared so clean compared to the Santa Monica and Venice beaches. With our homemade cocktails in one hand and a good read in the other, we were set to stay for hours at the beach.
I slept, read, sipped. Ate. Slept, read, sipped. Ate. Slept, read, sipped. Ate. This was our daily routine for a week.
The time to just be was divine and, as you would suggest, divinely orchestrated. To simply be in the presence of the magnificent ocean, among good friends, and savory meals with fruity drinks was exactly what I needed after a life-altering experience. I knew at this moment that this trip was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I was in transition and embracing my journey.
Eve, what a great way to start over and begin again! Placing yourself in a scenic location where beauty is all around you is the right medicine for healing to start. It’s amazing how nature soothes the soul just by simply being magnificent in its perfect state. There are three things that our soul responds to and is constantly seeking: beauty, truth, and goodness. The heart and soul opens up and is able to experience the moment in full. Let me share a little more about this.
Beauty, truth, and goodness can transform any mood. Imagine when you have had a very hard day and you decide to take a walk along the beach or a park. Just being in nature’s beauty you are able to relax. Nature’s vibrant colors, smells, sounds call you and mirror your own beauty, your own truth, and your own goodness within you. It is the God within that is greater than anything that is going wrong in your outer world. The beauty around you makes the moment truthful and good.
Now imagine if you happen to see a sunset while you are walking or a rainbow. This places you in the state of awe and wonder. People can’t help themselves but stop and watch for hours, if they could. Beauty, truth, and goodness are very hypnotic and your soul, though you may be in chaos, knows that all is well, all is good, and you know you are standing in a moment or truth. This helps you go on another day and not give up. These elements are the music that transcends the moment and makes it divine.
If you notice, I keep talking about them as if they are one and, in fact, they are. Where one exists the other two are also there. These exist as one because they help us get a glimpse of who God is and yet he is more than this. It’s like when you see a baby. The power the baby has when he or she is carried into a room is phenomenal. Everyone stops and wants to see this little baby. Even if there are very important people in the room, the baby is the one that people are typically drawn to. Why? It’s because he or she has remarkable goodness that is beautiful and true. A baby doesn’t try to be anything other than an infant. In its truthful state we are struck by his or her beauty and goodness and in turn lifts our spirits as he or she reflects God and reminds us who we are.
Aruba is one of these places for you and glad you are able to enjoy it. It carries God’s reflection of God’s infinite beauty, goodness, and truth. You are able to recognize it because these elements are within you. And how easy it is to forget how beautiful and good you are in the true essence of who God created when you have experienced a tragic event. So enjoy this time and reclaim this. Surround yourself and robe yourself in it.
Here is a poem, “A Blessing for Beauty,” by John O’Donohue, I’d like to share. Please note that you can substitute the word Beauty for Goodness or Truth. Now let’s toast to beauty, goodness, and truth.
A Blessing for Beauty
by John O’Donohue, poem taken from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
May the beauty of your life become more visible to you, that you may glimpse your wild divinity.
May the wonders of the earth call you forth from all your small, secret prisons and set your feet free in the pastures of possibilities.
May the light of dawn anoint your eyes that you may behold what a miracle a day is.
May the liturgy of twilight shelter all your fears and darkness within the circle of ease.
May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.
May you allow no dark hand to quench the candle of hope in your heart.
May you discover a new generosity towards yourself, and encourage yourself to engage your life as a great adventure.
May the outside voices of fear and despair find no echo in you.
May you always trust the urgency and wisdom of your own spirit.
May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried, awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times.
And when love finds the path to your door may you open like the earth to the dawn, and trust your every hidden color towards its nourishment of light.
May you find enough stillness and silence to savor the kiss of God on your soul and delight in the eternity that shaped you, that holds you and calls you.
And may you know that despite confusion, anxiety and emptiness, your name is written in Heaven.
And may you come to see your life as a quiet sacrament of service, which awakens around you a rhythm where doubt gives way to the grace of wonder, where what is awkward and strained can find elegance, and where crippled hope can find wings, and torment enter at last unto the grace of serenity.
May Divine Beauty bless you.