This illustration is based on my second “My Life With Gracie” drawing. It is still one of my favorites because it shows all six of my chickens as I think of them so often…just little chicks in awe of the world around them.
We are born with that same sense of awe as well, but at some point in life, it is often lost. Maybe a part of ourselves is lost along with it too.
What causes us to lose our sense of wonder? It may happen when we stop looking outwardly and begin to compare ourselves to others.
My neighborhood is home to so many songbirds, and they are almost always seen or at least heard in my yard. Yet my chickens never compare themselves to the songbirds. They never feel badly because they can’t sing like them, though they do have their own kind of singing. They never even try to imitate songbirds. But I do think they look, listen, and appreciate.
My house is right across the street from a vacant lot and a branch of the river. It’s marshy, and from time to time, tall graceful white egrets are wading there. My chickens watch them with interest, but they never try to walk like them or stand gracefully like them. But I do imagine they might like to go fishing or frogging with them!
My chickens don’t compare themselves to other birds. They don’t even compare themselves to each other. They are just fine being chickens, and they are just fine being who they are.
Even if a peacock came into the yard and presented a great display of feathers, their reaction would most likely be “Ho-Hum…I’ll bet all of those feathers get in the way of catching crickets.”
They don’t worry about being great singers, moving gracefully, or looking beautiful in the eyes of anyone else. Yet to me, they are all of these things and more, so much more.
Comparisons can be quite ugly when they make us doubt our own value, when they make us feel unworthy of life and unworthy of love. Comparisons can be even more ugly when we use them to try to make ourselves feel superior to someone else.
Oddly enough, the more you stand is awe and wonder of the beauty around you without any self-awareness, the more beautiful you become.
Everything and every person has their own unique kind of beauty. It’s there if you look for it. You are your own kind of beauty, and the world needs your kind of beauty.
My Life With Gracie taught me there are more kinds of beauty than we can ever count.
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