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Brutality and Beauty


Glennon Doyle invented the word brutiful by combining the words “brutal” and “beautiful,” to illustrate life.


It is April 21. Spring was beautifully arriving when we were blanketed with another covering of snow, snuffing out what had started to grow.


I stepped onto my deck this morning, barefoot and in my fuzzy robe, to capture a photo. The majesty of the snow combined with the newly green leaves looked majestic and juxtaposed. Nonsensical and sad. I could hear the birds chirping. I silently prayed for their warmth and the continued viability of their eggs. I cringed to think that this batch of young might not survive.


Mother Nature is like that. She is not about fairness. She is brutal and beautiful. She does things in her own order, and it is the order of the divine. It is not something we are designed to understand. We are designed to pay attention to the clues.


As I look at these gorgeous young pink colorful buds covered in snow, knowing their existence was shortened by white, glittering cold matter, I cannot help but think of the 15 year old girl who was killed last night at the same time that a guilty verdict was determined in the murder of George Floyd. White snuffing color. Justice too late. Brutal and unnecessary deaths – the cold snuffing the babies. And then witnessing beauty after the fact, in the rising of so many seeking change, and the love emulating to and within the oppressed even as the snow kills yet another first round of spring.


Mother Nature will continue her brutiful discourse. But humans have a choice. Snow does not have a conscience. Humans do, and it is unquestionably split between brutal and beautiful. We cannot control unruly springs, but we can make change from within ourselves when we witness and grieve what has been unfairly taken at the hands of each other. At this point, we have no choice but to accept the fact of death. We cannot reverse it. We must choose to let the love that rises from the pain - the brutiful - guide what we do next. Remember, we witness from Mother Nature what happens when there is no conscience.

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