Monday, August 23, 2010

Beautiful Beautiful...Plastic?

We walk a lot here.  Between the rows of flowers, between the grasses and trees.  We are surrounded by the good and natural.  Having always been drawn to the natural world it is not surprising to me that this is my life but I have to laugh at my fascination with the beauty of some of life's not-so-pretty things.  I love, for instance, plastic bags.  Not the mass of them, not the pollution they create, not the careless way people toss them about.  I love the way they look when they blow in the wind.  

I first discovered this love when I spent six months living in Nepal.  I was trekking in the Himalayas, in the most beautiful natural setting when I came across a young boy carrying a stick with a plastic bag on the end.  The boy was holding the stick in the air and watching the wind catch the bag.  A fine, sweet crinkle sound came from the bag and it puffed and swayed gracefully with every new tilt of wind.  The boy smiled at me briefly but mostly gazed at his bag.  It was beautiful.

That image usually brings up a bit of commentary from folks.  Mostly people are dismayed at the bag itself.  The knowledge of how much trash is cluttered in the world's beautiful places is heartbreaking.   But what resonates to me is that sometimes we need to see past the good and bad of things and just remember that when you're young, things - even the ugly things - can be wondrous.  

Not long ago, I went wondering through the fields again with my two babes.  As I said, we walk a lot here.  Running up ahead, my daughter found a stick and disappeared behind a bed of ornamental grasses.  When she emerged she had a plastic bag perched at the top of the stick and was standing with an enormous grin on her face as she watched the wind catch it.  "It's dancing mom!"   

And of course it was. 

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