How dull we are to the common beauty around us! Too easily we think of beauty as something rare, fleeting, or elusive. I think this is wrong. I know it's wrong in wild nature. If anything, creation is profligate when it comes beauty's dispersal. It's everywhere. Extravagantly. Excessively.
Bear's Foot is beginning to bloom in Tennessee right now in the second half of July. Smallanthus uvedalius (Yellow Leafcup, or Bear's Foot) is a tall, course perennial herb, 3-10 foot tall, common in woods and meadows in the eastern U.S. It's overlooked and disregarded as a weed by most, but I have some in my backyard and have come to appreciate its sunny yellow blooms and large bear paw leaves. This one has stubbornly come up through the oak woodpile I stacked on top of it a couple of months ago. It now adorns our firewood as it cures. And when I notice, it adorns my day.
Beauty is often rough, common, and persistent. Far too often we don't even notice. Maybe we'd smile a little more, if only we would see. If only we would look.