Beauty Beneath the Surface
Beauty is not always easy to see.
The Ugly Duckling eventually reveals its physical loveliness as a graceful swan, but not all beauty is visual.
Those with disabilities often have quirks that dominate what the uninitiated see—atypical physical features, an inability to move easily or gracefully, behavior that doesn't match social expectations, cognitive or neurological challenges, difficulty with social interaction, intimidating medical needs.
At a glance, those things may seem off-putting. Unfamiliarity may breed contempt.
But for those of us who care for a person with disabilities, those differences do not preclude other forms of beauty.
Though he rarely looks me in the eye, an autism trait making him seem aloof, I know that my son’s heart is full of love and sensitivity.
Though his obsessive compulsions drive family members crazy with repeated irritating behaviors, the unconventional liveliness our son creates brings healing laughter of solidarity.
Though his instinct to share physical affection appears rarely, the spontaneous hugs I receive from my son as I help him brush his teeth and wash his face melt my heart.
His pure, innocent sharing of a warm hug. The twinkle in his eye when he feels we’ve shared an inside joke. His bravery in overcoming overwhelming sensory overload and fears to do something he needs to do. These express the beauty of my son’s heart.
Thanks to those living with extraordinary challenges for sharing your beautiful selves with the rest of us, whether we be caregivers or strangers on the street. How true that we cannot judge books by their covers.
This week’s Hike Notes introduce a Las Gallinas Pond Walk. Though a surprise choice at first glance—being part of a sewage treatment facility—the wildlife ponds at Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District offer beautiful views of Marin, and the chance to see an abundant variety of local birds, with an emphasis on a rich array of water fowl.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos! Check the Home page for the broader background story. Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections.
The list of hikes is getting long! Please check the Quick View Hike List or scroll down the main Hikes page to see the current list of hike notes.
New this week:
Hike Notes 90: Las Gallinas Pond Walk
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.