Seeing Beauty Everywhere

Last month while I was in Hong Kong there were some quiet moments that allowed me to see the beauty in the everyday.  Like when I climbed these stairs to get a closer look at some white, flowing things that were sticking out from behind a sign.

As I got nearer and nearer I saw that these figures suspended in the air were just plain ole common hanging laundry…

…yet they were so beautiful…so simple and so humble.   And I remember feeling calm as I looked at the orderly row of newly cleaned white shirts.

And the wooden clothespins…so charming, and again so simple.  I like simple.

On the way back down the steps to rejoin Bill and Brook (we were out walking leisurely around the streets of HK together), I was treated to one more special piece of everyday beauty. To some it may only look like a piece of crumpled up trash on a dirty-old windowsill, but to me it was a beautiful sight regardless of the throw away context.

During the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about these two seemingly random sights of beauty.  And I’ve been feeling that these objects were somehow a connection to my father. He always wore plain white undershirts around the house (it was an everyday thing for him), and he was also an optimist (someone who could see the good side of things everywhere and anywhere, even crumpled up paper).

Memorial Service

My father’s official funeral service happened in Hong Kong last week.  This service was attended by my mother and our extended family as well as the members of their church community in China. Unfortunately, I was not able to stay in Hong Kong long enough to attend the funeral.  However, we have planned a second memorial service that will be at my childhood NYC church tomorrow, so that everyone from our North American church community can attend.  There will be 6 churches, all of which my father started many years ago, coming together…to share some peaceful words and music (the 6 church choirs will be joined and performing as one).

Below is a poem that I wrote for my father to be read at his memorial service.

A Life of Light
A life of light
begins from within.
And radiates to all, and through all.
From light there is love,
which begins from within.
And radiates to all, and through all.
Through love we live in kindness,
spreading warmth and comfort.
Which radiates to all, and through all.
May the light of love live on,
on earth and into heaven.

Thank you again kind friends for all your support through this tough time.  After reading your messages I’ve learned that many of you have also dealt with the loss of someone dear.  I suppose no one is immune to this hard fact of life.  Yet, we are all getting by…making the best of it and hopefully recognizing the good and appreciating the love.  It’s so true that there really is beauty everywhere…and within everyone.

19 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Your poem is beautiful Becky…just as I’m sure your father was. You’ll be in my prayers tomorrow. It sounds like it will be a lovely time of remembrance and celebration of his life.

    March 22nd, 2013

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, Becky. Yes, it’s definitely so hard to lose anyone dear, but I think sometimes losing a parent hits hardest, no matter our age. I felt that way when I lost my mom. I actually made a last minute decision last night to go up and visit my great aunt this weekend; she’s my grandmother’s sister and really my last connection to my mother other than my sister. She’ll be 92 this August and she just sounded like she needed to see me. We’ve always been very very close, and I think it’s those relationships we treasure with our elders, be they parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, from which we can gain the most. I love that six church choirs will be joining together to celebrate your father’s life! That will be a magical moment! Your poem is beautiful and your love for him shines through brightly. Sending big hugs to you and your family through this difficult time.

    March 22nd, 2013

  3. May peace be with you dear. Your poem is bliss with grace and true love. Our memories are what keep us going long after our loved ones have departed this living life. And it is okay to miss them for a very very long time. Healing Hugs…

    March 22nd, 2013

  4. Such a lovely poem Becky, it sounds like the service will be a wonderful celebration of your father’s life. He has certainly left an amazing legacy from one side of this planet to the other. Have a blessed day tomorrow, savor every moment. Wishing you peace.

    March 22nd, 2013

  5. Dear Becky,
    Your poem is so beautiful and so filled with love and truth of our existence. My sister wrote a poem for my mother just before she passed away and she read it at the funeral. I’m certain the people who knew and cherished your father would love to hear your spiritual poem. It is very moving.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

    Blessings & Peace to you and your family,

    March 23rd, 2013

  6. Becky,
    Thinking of you today and sending you light and love. Know that the light and love that your father shared is going to continue to bring warmth, comfort and connection to the world through you – through the words and the beautiful images you share – through the reminders you give to see beauty in all things.
    I carry a little angel token that belonged to my dad. I had put it into little Christmas favors at the dinner table one year. I found it in my dad’s things after he died. Sometimes when I miss him or when I feel his presence with me, I hold that little token and know he is with me.

    March 23rd, 2013

  7. My goodness, what lovely images.

    It’s easy to see that your father’s spirit lives on in you. Your poem is a wonderful tribute, just as your kind and loving nature is a tribute to him daily.


    March 23rd, 2013

  8. Linda K

    I love your photos of the white shirts and I love how you treated what someone else may have discarded as trash with an artsy view.
    Thoughts and prayers especially with you on this day. What a very loving and beautiful poem you have so eloquently written. Love and hugs.

    March 24th, 2013

  9. You share your father’s wisdom! Becky you paint light in your art~ I love your poem and the wisdom of your view~ It is the simple and ordinary that are open to transformation, when love and light touch them~
    Your art transforms!

    Your father would love how you expressed your view of the world~ (((hugs)))
    Keep sharing your light!

    March 24th, 2013

  10. ann marie

    All I can say is you are definitely your father’s daughter because you bring me nothing but love, light, peace and simplicity …… and I am absolutely blessed to have met you. xo

    March 25th, 2013

  11. Hope Amen

    Dear Becky ~ what a wonderful message of love that you have written in your poem. As I have just recently lost my husband; I know your pain. But we also can take comfort that they are with the Lord now. It is so wonderful to hear that your father spent his life sharing the love of Christ. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult season.

    March 25th, 2013

  12. laura huffman

    your poem is a beautiful tribute to your father and Christianity. it sounds like your father has influenced your life with love, the greatest gift of all. sending prayers and hugs to you and your family. love your message, to look for beauty in everything. thank you for sharing

    March 26th, 2013

  13. your poem is beautiful. just beautiful. and, you are certainly living your father’s legacy dear becky. your light shines in all you say and do. truly.

    March 26th, 2013

  14. Once again, thank you sweet friends…for all your lovely support.

    March 29th, 2013

  15. What a beautiful poem! You are such an amazing woman and such a wonderful daughter!

    April 1st, 2013

  16. Becky, my thought are with you……when I lost my dad a friend recited this phrase to me: if there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, look for me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever….

    Wishing peaceful days.

    April 2nd, 2013

  17. Becky,
    I have been neglectful of checking in with you and just happened to stop by your blog today. I am so sorry about your father but so joyful to know he is with the Lord – there is no better place to be. I pray God will comfort you and your family, especially your mother, during this time of grief. And I pray that your faith will be strengthened through all of this so that you can be together with your father again one day. He sounds like a humble man who loved and sacrificed – praise God.


    April 3rd, 2013

  18. I love this post. I love how you climbed the steps to see something white and floaty, and how you stopped to enjoy the crumpled paper…. and I love the poem you wrote for your father.I believe there is a heightened awareness when we feel grief, and our world changes….
    Thank you for sharing this Becky. The words you wrote for your father are a beautiful reflection of your love for him.

    April 8th, 2013

  19. Ivy

    Dearest Becky, I have not read your blog for awhile, and here I am, catching up and reading of your loss. Such beautiful images and poetry. I do believe the universe sends us signs of hope from our loved ones, and your ability to really see them is a gift. There is beauty everywhere, when we pause long enough to see it . I am so sorry for your loss of your father, take care.

    April 10th, 2013

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