This is my yard. Well, it’s part of my yard,the most beautiful part; and I seldom visit it. The reason for that is simple. It’s on the wrong side of the barn. I don’t mean that like the old saying “the wrong side of the tracks” it’s not dangerous or scary over there. I mean it’s not on the functional side of the barn. On the east side of the barn you have the house, the cars, the driveway, the mailbox; you get the idea. The east side is functional, it has it’s charms, but it’s scarred by modern life. On the west side of the barn there is only what you see in the pictures. It’s just quiet, peaceful and beautiful. And because it’s on the “wrong” side of the barn, it rarely occurs to me to spend time over there. This is where I have made a terrible mistake.
There most certainly must be functional things in my life. Shelter, transportation, and communication are all important parts of daily living. But one thing that I desperately need is beauty. Beauty lift’s the spirit, it inspires, and it’s right there, just around the corner of the barn I look at every day, and I miss it. I just walk out of my house, get in my car and drive away.
I don’t just do this with my barn, I do this all the time in my daily life, I miss the beauty. I allow the function to obscure the form. I often miss the the opportunity to experience the splendor of sunlight streaming through my office window because I’ve drawn the shade, so I can see better. Sometimes, I miss the laughter of students wandering around campus because I’ve put my ear buds in, so I can concentrate. Often, when I arrive home from work, I don’t venture outside my house until the next morning and I miss cool breezes, sunsets and fireflies. I wonder how much energy, enthusiasm and inspiration I rob myself of on a daily basis when I sacrifice those brief opportunities to indulge in beauty. Tomorrow, when I get home and have had my fill of function, I think I’ll wander over to the beautiful side of the barn and find out what I’ve been missing.