If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; it’s purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.
This quote is oddly relevant right now, and it also raises a question—what is poignant beauty? A sunset, a rose, the eclipse so many witnessed this week? Can beauty also be less “pretty”? Struggle and perseverance in the midst of pain, sorrow and despair? I think poignant beauty has a bittersweet element to it, and it’s something I experienced this week firsthand, as I moved my eldest daughter into her freshman dorm. My heart would have bursts of joy for my daughter and her fellow classmates, as I observed families moving boxes and carrying suitcases, and I watched students greet each other with enthusiasm. So many friendships just beginning, so many life lessons and adventures just around the corner. And I also felt a very hollow sadness, like I’d been punched right in the stomach, knowing that my baby girl is not a baby anymore and that she is leaving the home. So in my moments of real sadness, I realized that when I let my heart really crack open, I felt not just the sadness (and let’s be honest…a great deal of self-pity!), but also joy, love, happiness, gratitude. And those feelings were just as profound and powerful! I experienced the heart being able to hold so many wonders–birth, and change, and growth, and I felt strengthened with the poignant beauty of these bittersweet, complex and multidimensional aspects to life, that never stop appearing on our doorstep.