I do like appearances, both for their help in my apprehension of reality and for the beauty of their existence. My choices are my preferences. I understand this. I do not celebrate my preferences as though they should be others’, I celebrate them because they are part of my apprehension.
I celebrate a baby’s smile and their honest innocence. I love young puppies and kittens for much of the same reason. Being around them reminds me of the gift of wonder.
I celebrate play. I simply love it, including watching others play. Play abounds with learning, yet safety. I think we learn best when we play, because we learn best from making mistakes, but not being ostracized in the process.
I celebrate this planet. Rocks and trees, sky and wind, water and fire, canyons and mountains, and earth provide and they do not lie.
I celebrate contrasts when they are not physically threatening. I love being warm when it is cold or cool when it is hot. I love being a man around women, an adult around children. I love the smile that contrasts afford.
I celebrate having the means to live. I love having good work. I love having a home, a means of travel, health care to afford being physically well. This is not a contrast with others I appreciate, but a personal preference because of what I might be without those things. If all of us had the same, it would be even better.
I celebrate women. They are beautiful to behold. It is true that I have some personal preferences about which particular women I love, but I know those are personal. And it is true that women are at least as crazy as men are, though in different ways. And it is true that the particular women I have loved are flawed, as am I. But my life would be poorer without women and without those particular women.
I celebrate my parents and two siblings. We are on such different pages, yet coming from such similar perspectives. It is good that we are blood relatives or we might not know each other. They remind me that beauty is not always as I think it should be.
I celebrate my three children. They are gifts for which no amount of cogitating can accurately describe. I am lucky and gifted by their presence. They remind me of unwavering beauty in the midst of unwavering change.
I celebrate my newly arrived grandson. He is hope as all children are, though they are also so much more. To look at him is to be reminded about the wonder of life.
I celebrate my learning to live with an artificial hip. We are now nearly eleven months introduced. I still have not adapted, but it has been a short time. I hope we will have a long life together, celebrating all sorts of movement. Having the constant presence of a metal hip reminds me about the beauty of physicality. This physical vehicle is amazing and what life can be extended through medical intervention is likewise amazing. I know that medical intervention is fraught with errors, but so many would have experienced so much more pain in their lives without it. I’m not saying that my new hip is the be-all and end-all of experience or that pain and death are to be avoided, I’m saying that sometimes for all of the medical difficulties, our lives are indeed improved via medical practice. It would be even more beauty for such learning and practice to be available to us all.
I celebrate being able to celebrate. I love the season, despite all of the stress of deadlines. The Holiday season can bring such moments of shared good wishes that are not much in visible abundance throughout the other seasons. I love to hear and wish others a Happy Holiday. For all of our victories and all of our defeats, we can stand in the moment and smile and be truly glad for our own and others’ existence.
I love this time of year. I feel a deeply rooted presence take wing during this time. Life sparkles when we are of good cheer and wish each other well. That sparkle is illumination and it lights our path and warms us all.
May each of us revel in the presence of beauty, always there, yet sometimes unattended. May we acknowledge that beauty to ourselves and each other, this and every season. And may we remember that though we all have preferences, when we pass our beauty on, it grows in us as well.