Purveyor of Beauty

img_8740As I circled beautiful little Lake Tomahawk for the third time (four times around is approximately 2 miles, I’ve learned), I paused yet again to snap a picture of the gorgeous red leaves against the blue sky.img_8743 Simg_8754ure, the picture-taking limited the effectiveness of the exercise, but who cares? Given the glory of the scene before me, how could I not take a picture? How could I not try to share the rich colors of the fall foliage, the smell of sun on pine straw, the glimmer of light on the water?

“Are you a camera person?” asked a friendly man who watched me interrupt my walk to clumsily frame a scene. I said yes, but, really, I’m not much of a photographer, and my iPhone 5s is showing its age. What I am, I decided, is a purveyor of beauty.

I liked the sound of that phrase—”purveyor of beauty” —but later, seated at the coffee shop with my café au lait (I liked the sound of that phrase, too), I looked up the meaning of “purveyor,” just to be on the safe side. What a blow: “purveyor” didn’t mean what I thought it did! I had confused “purveyor” with “surveyor”—someone who takes stock of the situation or assesses the value of something. “Purveyor” actually means someone who is endeavoring to sell or trade something: it can also mean someone who is trying to promote a view or idea. Reveling in my felix culpa, I realized that the real meaning of “purveyor” fit much better.

After all, if I wanted to soak up the beauty for myself, would there be a need for picture-taking? Maybe: I don’t trust mere memory to capture experiences. Memory is fickle and tricks me up with dates or blurs similar experiences. How many falls have I lived through now? How many achingly beautiful autumn scenes have I tried to pin down with camera, verse, prose?

So I suppose I am taking the pictures to remind myself of what a wonderful walk I had, smiling pleasantly at the other folks doggedly rounding the lake along with me, some with dogs in tow. But, even more, I want to share the beauty with you, dear reader—with you, who couldn’t be with me to watch the ducks dabbling in the water near the bridge; with you, who couldn’t count the peaks of the Seven Sisters off to the right.img_8744img_8751

Because beauty kept to myself feels like hiding a joyful secret from someone. Beauty shared is so much better, especially if the other person gets as excited about trees turning from pale-green to vivid yellow as I do. Strangely, though, I kind of like my morning walks alone (alone, with a dozen other people out for their morning constitutionals). If I’m walking with someone, I’m talking or listening. If I’m walking alone, I can let my thoughts float free. Or I can try to notice details that might escape me: the watercolor brush of colored leaves on the lake’s surface; the leaves slowly somersaulting to the ground, the little island with its air of sanctuary, the cross-section of shoe prints in the dirt trail, the half shorn tree hinting at the season’s progress.

Enjoy the beauty of fall in Black Mountain–and purvey it along!


19 thoughts on “Purveyor of Beauty

  1. Pingback: One Misty, Moisty Morning | sappy as a tree: celebrating beauty in creation

  2. I think I must have been reading this while you were working on it. There were times when the words moved around as pictures came into view. And then, at least once, it all totally disappeared and came back again. Let me say “Good evening” from half way around the world–assured it is “Good Morning” where you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very strange, since I wrote that post nearly a year ago. But I have been tweaking my post on What oft was thought, so I could quite understand if words were disappearing there. Wow, being away from Word Press nearly a year means that I seem to have forgotten everything I knew about writing a post. I will try not to stay away so long next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, I was over at Cow Pasture Chronicles this morning (reading around at old and new) and ran across a comment you made some time ago where you nominated her for an award (hers is quickly becoming one of my faves, too) Well, I just had to see who you were so with one click of a button my screen came alive with all of those beautiful photos of Lake Tomahawk. No, I’m not a hiker and I don’t live in the mountains, heck I don’e even swim, I’m even afraid of water, but you captured some of the most beautiful tree, water peace shots I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing! I think I’ve found another place to chill. (:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Black Mountain is such a beautiful little town: this fall, my son has tutorials there once a week, and it’s a little too far to drive home. So I’m developing a new appreciation for Black Mountain’s charms!


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