Most of the homes (referred to as “villas”) here in Bahrain are surrounded by a tall cement wall with a scrolling iron gate. So each property feels like its own compound. One of the beautiful features of these walls is the lighting perched on top of them. Particularly pretty at dusk when they begin to glow.

This lantern caught my eye. On this property, there are at least a dozen of these gorgeous lanterns adorning the top of the wall around the perimeter of the inner courtyard. At the risk of being intrusive, I pulled my car over and captured this one because I loved it so much — a bit Bahraini and a bit Moroccan, too. Though it’s beige cement against a beige cement wall against beige sand against a beige sky, something about the form of this piece inspires me. Foreign. Ancient. Other-wordly. Beautiful.

I’m reminded today that beauty is waiting for us in the world — waiting for us to awaken and discover.

I’m reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea currently. It’s a short little book of essays that is really speaking to me. I highly recommend. My friend Annette gave it to me years ago, but I never finished it. The other day I was rooting through the “take one, leave one” book stack at the base library and refound this little gem. Funny how you can pick up the same book at a different season and it resonates so deeply.

Lindbergh’s essays are inspired by shells she finds on the beach while taking a vacation alone — away from her husband and five children — to recharge and reflect. Again, letting the beauty of the world she finds herself in speak to her and inspire her. Letting Truth in through the shapes and sounds and smells of the world around us.

One of the most profound things in her book is her insistence that every woman needs some time alone in each day (she’s not necessarily saying men don’t, she’s just writing to women specifically). She writes, “When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. . . . Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.”

So difficult to give ourselves permission to attend to the core, to stop the noise and center. May we all be brave today and quiet down enough — even just for a moment — to let something or someone speak to us . . . and to really hear what is being said.

Love to you all.

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