Sunday, May 5, 2013

Writing Challenge With Author, Bridget Straub

The Challenge: In 2000 words or less, write about something beautiful, love, happiness, nature, etc.

Beauty Take Two
Bridget Straub

When I was given the challenge to write about beauty, I thought I’d hit the Jackpot. This would be easy, because there are as many forms of beauty as there are people. I could write about almost anything. Hmmm, anything? Well, okay, I’d have to narrow that down I suppose. Let’s see, there’s physical beauty, spiritual beauty, beauty in nature, maybe even beauty in space.

I could write about the beauty of my children, who are quite frankly, magnificent, or I could write about the beauty of writing and how thrilling it is to watch a story evolve. Then again, I could write about the beauty that is all around us but often goes unnoticed. 

For example, I have a favorite photograph of a cracked and crumbling leaf in the shape of a heart, lying discarded in the street. I love that picture. It tells a thousand stories of its own. 

And music! How can you not discuss music? Certainly, that is beautiful, as is dance. The way a dancer can leap and twirl so effortlessly is, at times, nothing short of miraculous. Of course, if we are discussing the beauty of moving gracefully, you have to consider the way some swimmers glide through the water. That, in and of itself, can be mesmerizingly beautiful. So, as you can see, what I thought would be so simple is proving to be anything but simple. I don’t even know where to begin.

Perhaps I’ll go with something I saw this past summer. We were on a family vacation in Lake Tahoe, which as anyone who has ever been there can tell you, overflows with beauty. We were sharing a house with friends who were going to be giving a concert later that night, so our day began with an impromptu rehearsal.

It was magical to sit on the steps listening to these talented people string together melodies. When they finished up, we all headed to the lake, with it’s gorgeous aquamarine color that gradually goes from a light turquoise to a darkening but vibrant blue the deeper the water gets. The sun was shining just enough to warm us but not so much that you would break a sweat.

We enjoyed the water for a while, hung out on the beach, and then decided to treat the kids and ourselves to ice cream. We drove to the local and extremely popular ice cream shop, stood in a line that moved quickly and indulged in what can only be described as one of the finer treats of summer. From there, it was back to the house to change, and off to the show.

The Sweet Potatoes (our friends) were playing at The Boathouse, in which the backdrop to the stage is a gorgeous floor to ceiling window that overlooks the lake. As they performed their first set, the sun was setting behind them, adding nicely to the ambiance. Between sets we went outside, allowing the kids to stretch their legs on the beach. 

Someone pointed out the casinos off in the distance and said there would be fireworks in a few minutes. The kids, who are used to seeing these friends perform, wanted to stay outside during the second set to see the fireworks. I agreed to stay with them and sat on a nearby wall bordering the sand. I looked to my right, and rising behind the mountains was the most beautiful full moon I had ever seen. 

Not only was it rich in color, but the trees on the mountaintop reflected against it as it shone its light across the water. It was utterly breathtaking. As luck would have it, I didn’t have a camera with me to capture it on film but the image of it is so burned into my mind that it doesn’t matter. I don’t think I could forget it if I tried. It was as over-the-top beautiful as what you would see in a Hollywood movie. 

The type of scene that up until that moment I would have sworn could only be achieved with special effects.
The fireworks shot into the sky shortly after the moon had fully risen and while impressive, they couldn’t hold a candle to the light show I’d just seen.

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