After a day of intense writing this week, I headed out into the old town of Annecy. On this spectacular evening as the sunset casting a golden light on the crowds, I heard some fun, funky, music that seemed to create a mood that perfectly matched the beauty and sparkling feeling of the moment. I followed the sound to find out where it was coming from. Crowds strolled along the canals over the bridges decked with popping-red geraniums. A large crowd stood around a ruddy-faced guy with a sound box who worked really hard to get attention. He appeared dirty, loud, and coarse, and I knew that this was not the music or the person who had drawn me here. The music I heard floated down the canals and created a beautiful setting for the summer scene. About 20 feet away a young man stood playing an electric guitar. He had a rhythm box and his sound didn’t overpower anyone, but instead acted quite like bees, birds, and flowers in nature that all blend together and create a harmony. A few people sat on the cathedral steps and one woman took a photo of the guitar player. But most people just strolled by and occasionally tossed a coin into his guitar case. He played. He played his heart out and he played well. It didn’t matter that the crowd stood around the coarse guy and seemed not to really notice him. He played and the love in his playing created a beautiful setting for the whole city for blocks around.
While much of the world is drawn to reality shows and coarse, low-level things, many beautiful things go unnoticed, but fill our lives everyday. In my life it’s the lake outside my window, the moon rise, the fresh mountain air and the clear skies that I consciously make efforts to pay attention to and love. It’s not always the things that yell for the loudest attention and demand recognition that merit it, or will uplift us in the end. Nature shows this well. A beautiful rose or jasmine act like the guitar player. They simply open up and share their scent. It’s their nature. It’s how they are. If you’re one of those people who creates beautiful, quiet harmony in your life, please know in your heart, that just as this guitar player’s music created a beautiful environment for those of us out that evening, so your beautiful life creates and benefits others. Being peaceful and joyful doesn’t attract a lot of attention. But it does make a huge difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. Thank you to those of you who are creating a fragrance of peace and harmony with your life.