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letter, the first

my dear friend,

Let me tell you of beautiful things. Before me smiles a scene of beauty: a steaming cup of tea, morning sunshine, and the soft ripples of Ranunculus petals playing with the light. The crowded collection of cream petals round the shadowy center greet me as they lean over the table. I had to share with you how the flower sings today.

And also this: as I drove along the summer roads the other day, Cornflowers and Queen Anne's Lace bobbed and nodded, those hardy blooms, along the edges of the asphalt, framing what is usually drab in a crown of glory. They hummed their blue and white songs amid the din of engines and the friction of tires.

In a culture obsessed with carefully curated appearances—that tight control over our bodies and our homes and our feeds—true beauty breaks in with a gentle shattering of illusions. We cannot control a flower. We can ask of it to live longer, we can choose which one we pick for a bouquet, we can make the right conditions, but we cannot truly control how long it will last, or what effect it might have on us if we let it. I cannot make the Ranunculus petals catch the light in quiet gladness. I cannot make the Cornflowers keep. I cannot make each tiny bud of the Queen Anne's Lace bloom. Only God does that.

God made a Ranunculus and he made light. These two beauties overflowed through the pen in my hand to this letter I'd been trying to force for weeks. Beauty is best given and received. Not taken or forced or bought.

So come along? I'd like to pick bouquets of beauty and give them here. I'd like to point to what I could never make, so you might see the beauty of our Maker, and be encouraged to seek it out yourself. And write back if you like, and point out beautiful things to me, too—I'd love to look along.

with joy,

karly alexandra


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