I love the idea of growing our capacities. I think that is part of the purpose of this life: growing capacities for important things like loving more. Recognizing beauty in more depth. Growing the capacity to be more forgiving (of ourselves and of others). To give of ourselves less reluctantly. Sometimes it’s easy to grow those capacities. Some capacities are almost fed to us. But others are hard won with blood and sweat and tears, grown only through pain and sorrow. Beauty filling in the ashes left behind.

I talked about my favorite poem about capacities back HERE, but here it is again:


It is an illusion to think that more comfort brings more happiness.

Happiness comes of the capacity to

feel deeply, 

to enjoy simply, 

to think freely, 

to risk life, 

to be needed.

–Storm Jameson

So when I see those types of capacities growing in myself as well as in my family, all feels right in the world.

One such instance was a few weeks ago when Lu and I found ourselves alone at home during dinner time (this, unfortunately, is happening more and more with Dave out of town and Claire at volleyball). Through the window from the kitchen I spied a corner of the sky that looked brilliant pink and asked Lu if she wanted to have a picnic outside to bask in that sky.

And she was on it.

We watched in awe as those colors crept across the sky. And the thing that was even more amazing than the sky was my girl. She can’t generally see things like that very well with those eyes of hers.

But she saw it.

Like, REALLY saw it.

And as we sat there together taking it all in, my heart swelled with the realization of how that girl of mine’s capacity for drinking in beauty is growing. Oh how I want to hold onto it: her ability to SEE it all.

But I have realized over time that her capacity for enjoying beauty won’t end when her vision ends. Because I think she can see beauty even without those eyes. She feels it in her heart. More than anyone else I know.

Even so, it was pretty awesome to be able to share that sky with my girl that night.

And to have our own “carrot snap” in Elle’s honor, along with Bo, who as you can tell, had no choice but to join us.

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  1. Shawni,

    This is a beautiful post. I love the idea of growing in our capacities. Even if we have limitations, we can grow in some way amd become better for it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful! And I absolutely love your words, “I think she can see beauty even without those eyes. She feels it in her heart. More than anyone else I know.” No better words to describe beautiful Lucy … I can only imagine knowing her in person, how lucky you all are. God Bless!

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