I have only head the early bird who wakes before first light

I have never seen her beauty even when the moon is bright.


There was a time I’d try to find her as her song drifted on the breeze

I would search the rooftops, and the bushes and the flowers and the trees.


But I stopped my hunt to see the early bird…even under the brightest moon

When I realized as I was searching I forgot to listen to her tune.


Now when I hear the early bird…when I hear her morning song rise

Not only have I stopped looking for her…I often close my eyes.


For I have learned a lesson…taught to me by the early bird…

That not all beauty must be seen…some beauty must be heard.


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I see many wonders on my morning walks but nothing quite compares

with a little plant I see each day that grows beneath the stairs.


I’m not sure if he’s a little tree or if he is a flower…what kind

There are no other plants around him…but he doesn’t seem to mind.


I asked him once…I said, “Little plant wouldn’t you rather be

near a lake, or on a mountain top…or growing by the sea?”


He looked around and smiled saying, “This is where I’ve alway grown.

Underneath these stairs is the only home I’ve ever known.


Here I am protected from the rain and shaded from the heat of June

Somedays I dance while in the shadows…others while illuminated by the moon.


When I stop and think about it…it all seems pretty clear

to add a little beauty to this spot is why I’m growing here.


And isn’t it wonderful knowing while you’re out walking

you can find beauty anywhere…

even where you least expect it…like growing beneath these stairs.”


And he was right, that little plant…after our little talk

I can’t wait to greet him every morning for he adds a little beauty to my walk…


As I stop each day to greet him…I am totally aware

of all the beauty that would be lost If he wasn’t growing there…


I’ve had many teachers in my life…but nothing quite compares

with the lesson I learned about beauty


from that little plant beneath the stairs


He noticed her lips were quivering as she ran to him…

He saw the tears falling from her eyes

“He called me ugly, Daddy.” She cried. 

“Can you please tell me why?”


A father never wants to see his daughter hurting

does not want to see her come to any harm.

So he closed his eyes and held her close

once she ran into his arms.


“It is his heart that’s ugly.” He said. 

“For it is our heart that holds the key

as we gaze upon the world…

to how much beauty we will see.”


“I’m sad he called you ugly…

but sadder still...by far

his heart may never let him see…


how beautiful you are.”

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On our walk the morning as we made the turn 

down a tree filled lane

we were greeted in the silence by a tender…misty rain.


We could feel a slight coolness brush agains our face…

and yet

so delicate were her droplets that we did not get wet.


So light…so mild was that touch of rain 

we barely could perceive her

so gentle even the most fragile flowers 

had to lift their petals to receive her.


I looked up to try and glimpse the mist 

floating against the backdrop of the dawn

but as quickly as she started…that misty rain was gone


And once again I had to smile 

as I thanked the rain for the simplicity of her greeting

reminding me to enjoy both life and beauty…


for both of them are fleeting.

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“Why do you stop so often on our evening walks?” she asked.

“Are you captivated by the moon, or Jupiter…or Mars?”

“No.” He smiled. 

“Not by the moon, or Jupiter…or Mars.”,


“It’s the only time I get to see the beauty of your silhouette among the stars.”

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Is there anything more beautiful

than a smile

that rises out of tears…

or more gratifying

than courage

that emerges out of fear?


The moment we find the courage

that beautiful moment when we dared

to act in the face of danger

even though we may be scared.


And the truest form of courage

of beauty ever made

is facing our fear when we’re the only one


who knows we are afraid?

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He tells her often of her beauty

how she is his sunrise …and sunset

He tells her often of her beauty


because…she has a tendency to forget

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After listening to his final lesson 

the wise one was approached by a young woman and young man…

“We have a question.” they asked softly. 

He nodded, 

“I will answer it if I can.”


“We’ve listened to all your teachings.” They said

“We’ve taken them to heart.

You’ve taught us about beauty 

about friendship, love and art.” 


“You’ve taught us about acceptance and compassion

about how to have an open mind.

You’ve taught us about peace, 

about wisdom.

You’ve taught us to be kind.”


“We’ve listened and we’ve learned.” they said

“We’ve held on to your every breath.

Yet of all the subjects you have taught…

Yet you never speak of death?”


Their teacher looked at them and smiled, 

touched their shoulders 

then began to speak…

“Death eventually finds us.” he said…

“All the others…


we must seek.”


She was concerned about her beauty

She was never self-absorbed or vain

but she came home in tears

when another girl called her plain.


Her parents were concerned

they wanted her to understand

so immediately they found a prism

and placed it in her hands..


“The girl who said that was probably unhappy.” They said

Please don’t listen to her…

We have never thought you plain.”

“but even if you were


It’s not how we look on the outside…

you’ll find one day…by most accounts

it’s what’s inside our brain

our heart and what’s inside our soul that counts.”


They held her hands up to the sun

“The way the light bounces off you,” they said

“isn’t important at all.

It’s how the light shines through you 

that people will recall.”


“We think you are beautiful!”

Mom said smiling as she touched her daughter’s chin

“But what makes you truly beautiful

is what shines out of you…not in.”


She wears that prism as a necklace today

to remember where beauty comes from…

and to remind herself of the beautiful little girl she was…


and of the beauty she’s become.

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