The Beauty of Connections
Beauty can appear in brief, sincere interactions with strangers.
Posted Nov 21, 2018
I feel driven to offer reflections on beautiful connections between humans. Perhaps my need arises to counterbalance sad memories prompted by the upcoming holidays, the weariness of ongoing divisive news, or the horrors of recent fires and floods. In the midst of many shadows, I am especially sensitive to the universal presence of what I experience as the Light of Beauty.
When I have a brief, sincere, face-to-face interaction with a stranger, I often sense delicate wavelets of Beauty passing through me. These encounters occur in safe public settings. The interactions are as simple as thanking someone for holding a door open for me, initiating a chat while waiting in line, or just smiling at someone as we pass on the sidewalk. I have become more observant of others doing likewise. In such situations, I have no need to know the stranger’s history, values, or views. I have no motive other than to connect beautifully. I best do so when I am fully present in the simple moments of the exchange. They are moments of connection, human with human, through mutual acknowledgement of each other’s existence.
I am likely to quickly forget any single connection amidst whatever I was otherwise doing at the time. Each event is like a punctuation mark within the paragraphs of my life. Each indicates when to pause, be alert, be curious, or stop as my personal story unfolds. What is most meaningful to me is the collection of not only mine but all such interactions with strangers. That collection serves to remind me again and again that there are other humans across our planet also interweaving beautiful connections among our species. I am reminded I am not alone at the deepest level of our shared humanity even though we each differ in our outward expressions of it. I am always a participant in life, but I better experience its Wholeness when I share the awareness of it by simple moments of connection. It is a practice that opens my heart and broadens my mind to our common inheritance as children of Earth.
Other connections that have been ongoing for longer periods of time become relationships. More time allows for varieties of shared experience, exploration of values and preferences, and formation of memories. Over time, caring relationships may become deeper, stronger, and more loving ones as Beauty expresses herself within their connections.
When I consider my loving relationships in the context of the whole of existence, I see each as a form arising from universal Beauty—like a rosebud rising from an amorphous cloud. A deeply loving relationship provides evolving connections to nurture each other’s continuous developmental transformation into a more beautiful human flower. To “grow up” psychologically and “wake up” spiritually, whether as individuals or as a relationship, are exquisite expressions of Beauty’s limitless connections into forms.
When I have a brief, sincere connection to a stranger, I wonder if a micro-version of a loving relationship momentarily comes into being. Perhaps it’s like the brief fragrance of a rose emanating from inside a flower shop as one passes—noticed for only a moment before being lost by the next breath. I wonder if some small influence to connect can be recorded in the unconscious heart-mind of a stranger I speak to or smile at. I like to believe the voice or smile leaves a delicate memory that joins and enhances related memories within that person—like multiple times smelling a rose from outside a flower shop strengthens a single conscious recollection.
Might beautiful experiences join together to work their way from the unconscious to the conscious heart-mind within a human? Might the recipient of beautiful encounters with multiple strangers motivate one to transform into a more beautiful human? Might multiple times smelling roses entice one to take the first step into the flower shop? When I am sincerely present for another human, stranger or not, am I serving in that moment as Beauty’s fragrance drawing forth the soft edge of the rosebud of his/her potential as a human?
My belief in Beauty prompts me to find ways to embody her as I connect to others. My belief in Beauty reminds me that Good and True connections to others will help heal dark moments in our lives. Over time, I believe brief, sincere connections between strangers can transform into deeply caring relationships among humanity.
As you hold open the shop door for me,
may my gratitude as I pass
hold open your heart for you.