Boyero with his oxcart in Costa Rica

Day 30: Let’s startle the world with beauty

Superfluous beauty is one of the best things about the human race. We’re gratuitously violent and stupidly destructive, and then we write novels. Build cathedrals. Paint intricate designs on oxcarts when it would have been so much easier for the hardworking people who fill, empty and guide them over misty mountains to leave them unadorned.

Who started this, in fact? Who was the first person to say, “This cart is an opportunity for startling beauty?” Costa Ricans and those of us who know the country say, “Of course, another fabulous oxcart,” but imagine coming across one for the first time, out of the blue, as you push heavy sacks of coffee through the hills or fog or heat with your normal, simple cart. Wouldn’t your jaw drop? You’d shrug or smirk, but just picture that spectacular blaze of color out of nowhere.

Just think – whoever it was, the person who first painted an oxcart was our relative, our fellow person. We all have that same potential to make something lovely that has no business being lovely. Any of us can choose to startle the world with beauty. May this weekend include a chance to make something unnecessarily awesome (on a plate, on a page, on a canvas, in a garden) – and may we take those chances when they come.

Day 21, Monday Motivation: Meet a Nicaraguan refugee changing lives in Costa Rica.

Day 22, Tuesday Beauty: An international treasure hunt for the lost tapes of a music legend.

Day 23, Wellness Wednesday: A parenting epiphany at the skate park.

Day 24, Thursday Exploring: A pic from a Costa Rican park (no one has identified it yet!).

Have a great weekend…

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter). 

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