I came across this plaque late one morning on our recent Algonquin Park adventure.
I’m not sure who Mr. Lancaster is other than he was a forester with the Ministry of Natural Resources(MNR) at some point in the past.
What really nailed me was the words, “Delighted in the beauty that surrounds you.”
Now, from this quote and the context of the plaque it is obvious to me and hopefully to all that Mr. Lancaster was talking about Algonquin Park. In fact, the final line on the inscription reads, “Preserve Algonquin Park.”
And you know, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment.
But, there is a message in that plaque we all need to hear and fully embrace, “delighted in the beauty that surrounds you.”
Often we fail to see the beauty that surrounds us, even when it is right smack-dab in front of our own very nose.
And not necessarily the beauty of a local landscape, although that has some level of importance in the overall scheme of the universe. No, it is the beauty that we often fail to see because our eyes and mind fail or don’t want to see what is surrounding us.
It can be an unfortunate, yet a repeatedly destructive end result that many get comfortable, complacent and often end up taking for granted spouses, children, family and friends.
All they ever see and get focussed on are those very minor blemishes, that they often come up failing to see the beauty within those they love. Constant rumination over some minor and insignificant irritations, and they end up akin to an “old cow” ruminating and chewing its cud.
An slightly incorrect compass heading can take us thousands of kilometres of course if we travel that flawed bearing long enough. In the same way, a imperceptible yet tragic miscalculation can take our focus from “seeing beauty to only seeing blemish.”
One slight miss undervaluation hung onto over time and what is the result?
We fail to delight in the beauty that surround us. We fail to see their smile; their quiet yet strong resolve; the words they use build and not tear down and their love for all.
A well used cliche that has been around for eons is “you can’t see the forest for the trees.”
You see, beauty is all around us.
All we need to do is simply open our eyes, yet more importantly open our hearts.
Delighted in the beauty that surrounds you
I think Mr. Lancaster got it right.
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —