The concept of beauty is one that engages, fascinates, mesmerizes, arouses and often defines the consciousness of people.
The senses are vitally stimulated and nourished, and the wonders of beauty can never be denied.
The famous proverb, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, has particular reference to romantic matters of the heart but is also applicable to a myriad of choices, preferences and judgments in the lives of man.
Of course, much subjectivity comes into play as views are formed, and there is arguably no definitive or universal agreement on what constitutes beauty.
The poet, John Keats, contends that: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.”
But who decides on the “thing of beauty”?
It seems likely that most would agree that the beauty of nature has an appeal so powerful that it cannot be denied or equalled.
And yet the range is so vast and the aspects of nature so varied, that preferences and responses of appreciation reflect differing views on aesthetics and the human filtering processes.
It remains true, though, that the incomparable fruits of nature constitute “a joy forever”.
Can anything compete with the awesome beauty of a striking sunrise or captivating sunset?
Majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls and the vast range of forest types engage most in the appreciation of nature’s fruits.
Animals (domestic and wild), flowers, shrubs and hiking trails expose people to the magic of nature.
From deserts to wetlands, magnificent oceans to vast glaciers, our planet is blessed.
The processes of procreation and regeneration constitute the awe-inspiring building blocks of nature, and that beauty is incontrovertible.
Beauty also extends to human activities and products. The physical skills and grace expressed in the vast range of sports and in dancing enthral and mesmerize many.
Crafts, paintings and the fruits of other creative arts and hobbies engage and have a particular allure.
On the level of partner choices by humans, members of our species very thankfully seem to apply the “eye of the beholder” principle.
That could well be nature’s way of providing for all tastes and types and the wellbeing of mankind.
Very sadly, and increasingly threateningly, the excesses of exploitation of natural resources and the pollution of life-sustaining oceans and fresh water, ring alarm bells that dare not be ignored.
The words of Frank Lloyd Wright are a sobering caution to mankind that we must respect and protect the sources of beauty on our threatened planet: “If you foolishly ignore beauty, then you will, soon find yourself without it.”