“St Augustine testifies to the permanence and eternity of beauty when he writes: ‘Too late came I to love thee! Beauty, ever ancient, ever new, too late came I to love thee!’
Yet beauty is never stale; it is never the same. Beauty is always new in every different presence and it quickens distinctively each time. When we gaze at the faces we love, we often notice how the days and years continue to enrich these faces with ever new textures of presence. The experience of beauty always resembles a beginning. A clearance opens in the heart for something new.
Perhaps this is why it always seems to embrace us completely and satisfies something profound in us. Beauty touches and renews our hope when it takes us out of the grid of ordinary time and brings us to another place, a place where history ceases and the weight of memory relents, a place ever ancient and ever new. For a while our hearts become young again, inspired with new vision and possibility. Meister Eckhart says: ‘Time makes us old. Eternity keeps us young.’
It is quite fascinating how beauty touches the mind. No-one is immune to beauty. Regardless of background, burdens or limitations, when we find ourselves in a place of great beauty, clarity, recognition and excitement awaken in us. It is never a neutral experience. Despite all our disaffection with what can sometimes seem a harsh and cynical world, there is an eternal beckoning at the heart of beauty that touches what is still innocent in us. To behold beauty dignifies your life; it heals you and calls you out beyond the smallness of your own self-limitation to experience new horizons. To experience beauty is to have your life enlarged.”