finding beauty

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

“you are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold.”

max lucado, cure for the common life: living in your sweet spot


i was just made aware a little while ago that a nephew of mine was killed in a skiing accident. i'm certainly not alone in experiencing tragedies in life. many of you have lost friends and loved ones. be it COVID-19 or one of its variants, accidents, sickness, disease, natural causes or any number of circumstances, it's never easy.


one thing i never want to forget is the beauty that my nephew brought through his life. we do need to grieve. it is a healthy part of processing the difficult and painful awareness of the void in our lives. at the same time, for me at least, grieving is also remembering the life that was lived and hopefully lived well.


i did not know this nephew of mine as well as i would have liked. the miles between us were always substantial save for a short time when he, along with his brother and dad, lived nearby. he was just a young child at the time. but i was kept in the loop through the years as to what was going on in his life.


i last saw him this past summer. he had become a young man and was full of vitality and excitement. as i listened to him over a meal, he seemed intent on living for each moment as well as for the future. i know he was a good uncle to his brother's kids. i still remember the video of him showing up in the park surprising his young nephew. that was a moment of unequivocal love between nephew and uncle. that was a moment on video i will not soon forget.


i could go on, but i want to get to my point and, i believe, a point my nephew would like to see happen. live life. live it fully. look for the beauty in life. it does not take much of an effort to find the ugly in life. it's all around us in the world. ugliness just saps the life out of us. instead, choose to find the good, the beauty. we all have a limited amount of time on this earth. it could end today. it could end tomorrow. it could end next week...or next month...or next year...we don't know. what i do know is that i can make a choice in the moment to see the beauty even if it is a difficult moment or an extended time of difficulty.


i'll be honest; i'm not great at this. but i'm working on it. how about we do this together? how about we all make the choice to work at defining our lives as a life well-lived? a life that finds beauty in all circumstances?



this image is the cathedral of st. paul. it is one of the many visual treats to take in within the confines of this urban sprawl known as st. paul. its architectural splendor is stunning by day or night, be it the exterior, seen here as framed by the last of the autumn leaves in late november, or the interior. it stands out from the rest of the immediate surroundings to add a splash of elegance and exceptionality. this city has its decay. most, if not all, cities do. but there is also beauty. so i look for it during my photo expeditions in st. paul. sometimes i even find it in the midst of decay.


we live in a decaying world but we can still choose to see the beauty. riley, you were a beautiful person and you brought your unique brand of beauty to this world, brief as it was. as max lucado once said, "you are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold."


good night riley. we love you. we will miss you.

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