or look at the blue, blue sky…

My favorite Primary song has always been “My Heavenly Father Loves Me.”  Even as I young child I felt the beauty of nature keenly, and that beauty spoke to me of something grander and more gorgeous outside of myself.  When I felt the sun on my skin and when I sat under towering trees or at the edge of rivers, or when I walked through meadows, I just knew that something big and beautiful spoke my name.

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heav’nly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
I thank him rev’rently
For all his creations, of which I’m a part.
Yes, I know Heav’nly Father loves me.

 

And that’s how I felt yesterday when I heard filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg speak at TEDxLA.  He challenged us all to consider how the world looked to a flower or a butterfly and showed clips from his breathtakingly beautiful timelapse films:

Schwartzberg was the son of Holocaust survivors, he learned his filmmaking skills while documenting war protests in the 70s.  He had every reason to want to show the ugliness and horrors of the world, but instead has chosen to focus on its relentless beauty.  Recently, he projected his images onto the walls of the buildings in St Peter’s Square in Rome, as a warning about what we stand to lose if we don’t address the very real concerns of climate change.  He spoke about the irony of working with the Vatican on this project, when the Catholic church turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Jews in WWII:

(note: this video cannot be embedded on our site, but if you click the image above it will take you to the Vimeo link.  Watch it!  It’s beautiful!)

I know that there are dangers in focusing on the flowers instead of seeing a bigger picture.  But at the same time I think that there’s always space for more beauty in our lives–whether it comes in the form of a flower or a patch of sunshine or some time spent cuddling with kittens (or maybe just watching cute videos of hedgehogs). I appreciate so much that Schwartzberg has reminded me of that…because every single day, no matter what happens, I choose flowers.

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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