I Grew up on Love and Survival

I’m awake. I woke up early this morning. Since I started boxing, my body aches too much to run. So I stretch and I breathe instead. I walk past a miniature rose bush sitting on an antique-style wooden box on my way to the bathroom. The box is a keepsake from a roadside artisan purchased on my first trip to God’s Window in Mpumalanga. There are six small, new rosebuds on the rosebush. Of the four in full bloom, two are fading. I smile unintentionally. My little plant is thriving. It makes me happy.

I return from the bathroom with a pair of scissors. I read the care instructions. I always read care instructions. They said to prune off blooms when they started to fade. They said it’s to allow the new ones to come in. I snip the two off and smell them. I immediately wish my babies were home today. They love smelling flowers. It’s one of those thoughts that just whispers by. It can not linger because I have not.

I have taken the flowers I cut to my bedside table. I am getting back into bed with a book and a cup of tea. I take a moment to arrange the blooms around my teacup and take a photo. That was only a few minutes ago. Yet, writing it is making me smile again.

It’s the thought I had as I looked at my pretty little purposeless arrangement. Looking at the pretty buds next to the pretty mug, I thought:

“I created something so beautiful for no reason.”

I created something beautiful for no reason. The thought came again. It was immediately followed by the momentary awareness of the foreignness of it all. Is this ok, I thought. Yes, I answered. It is just unfamiliar. You grew up on love and survival.

That is the thought that brought me here. I grew up on love and survival. I grew up in a home filled with abundant love and just-enough-going-on-not-enough money. I didn’t feel the latter though. I didn’t feel it at all.

Perhaps that is why it has taken me 36 years to realise that our home actually did not have superfluous things. It had necessities only. That creating beauty for beauty’s sake is a thing a person can simply do. A thing I can do. What a concept…

Beauty to sit in. Beauty to look at. Beauty to live in. Beauty to photograph. Beauty to make me smile. Simple, beautiful moments made of the little things that make my heart smile. That inspire me to write. That whisper to me, “show the kids.” Beauty, for beauty’s sake.

I realised that I grew up on love and survival so that my heart and soul would stay soft enough to live on love and beauty later. These little moments, spaces and thoughts are little pieces of art hanging in our mind’s hallways adorning the necessities with beauty.

And here I am at the end of this particular moment to learn that beauty is art and

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Pablo Picasso

I found and lost myself in a beautiful moment. It was art for my soul.

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