Our lives encounter so much that’s artificial and phony. Freeways and malls and plastic throwaway stuff. Industrial growth. Ugliness. We are starved for beauty, so starved that we forget how important it is. We’re in danger of losing our sense of what is authentic and true.
Those people whom I most envy and admire are those who have turned away from the super-fluidity and cluttered materialism and returned to the beauty of the natural world and objects made by human hands, the texture of wood, the woven basket, the mixing of compost into soil in the back garden, a good soup cooking on the stove, an evening around the table with family and friends.
Rediscovering this kind of beauty involves a slowing down, doesn’t it? And it certainly involves listening to the priorities of the heart.
— Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy