Monday, August 30, 2010

Unexpected Beauty

I like those decorative plaques and stepping stones people have in their gardens. Some of them have flowers or birds or butterflies on them. Others have quotes. Many of the quotes are anonymous, “Delight in the beauty that surrounds you” or proverbs from various cultures: “Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.” Chinese Proverb.

Some are by writers well known for their connection to nature, “The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it,” Ralph Waldo Emerson, “My profession is to always find God in nature,” Henry David Thoreau. It’s not surprising to find a quote by either Shakespeare, “April has put a spirit of youth in everything” or Jane Austen, “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.”

But, Dorothy Parker is not a writer whose name you expect to see on a garden stone! You expect wit – sharp and biting – “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B,” “I don’t care what’s written about me as long as it isn’t true,” and “You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.” You don’t expect beauty from Dorothy Parker. Yet, there it was, on a garden stone at one of the local nurseries: “Flowers are heaven’s masterpiece—Dorothy Parker.”

The stone’s price was more than I was willing to pay, but I’m going to keep my eye on it and pick it up when there's a sale later in the season. It will serve as a reminder of unexpected beauty.

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