19 Mar


I drive along LaCholla Road everyday. Painfully, cautiously, and slowly.
Painfully because the major roadway is under construction and there are lots of unexpected bumps and thumps that rattle both the car and me. Cautiously because the safety-cone lined passageway for cars is narrow and twists back and forth as machines create controlled chaos on both sides. And, slowly because there is always a deputy sheriff concealed behind piles of dirt or rocks with a radar gun aimed at anybody who dares to go more than 25 miles an hour. Slowly, please, because construction zone fines can ruin your day.
One redeeming aspect of driving through the mess, though, is an opportunity to see artists at work. Thus the photo above. I watched for weeks as sturdy construction people placed the rocks you see one by one, hand to hand and created a lovely stone mosaic along the route. First the ground was packed hard, then wire mesh was laid, then cement poured and, finally, while the cement was still wet, a single line of construction artists took one stone at a time from a huge pile, passed the stone from one man to the next until the last man in line nestled it into the waiting cement. One at a time. Rock by rock. And, as you can see in the photo, there is a lovely line of white rocks flowing lazily through the many shades of brown. It’s quite beautiful.
But imagine the effort, the painful process of placing one stone and then another and then another, day after day.
Several things occur to me. I’m grateful for artistry all around me, in common things and in unexpected places. Stunning beauty is everywhere. Also, I appreciate the seemingly tedious efforts of people who often do common tasks, jobs that I pass by without a second glance, but who produce creative beauty in subtle ways. The waitress who delivered the colorful salad yesterday…the landscaper who turned my yard into a special place…the house painter next door whose meticulous care for detail shows in every brush stroke…the hummingbird building a penthouse straw by straw in my oak tree.
Perhaps I ought to slow down more often and observe beauty taking shape.
Slowing down is never a bad idea…especially when there’s a radar gun in the neighborhood.

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