When we sat down at Monarch Coffee, Melissa pulled out a journal and a little paperback book titled Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty. I know only a little about Dorothy Day and even less about this particular book, but the subtitle intrigued me (so much so that I just ordered it from the library).
As we chatted over lattes (Melissa ordered a pistachio rose latte with dried rose petals sprinkled on top – by far the loveliest and most unique latte I’ve ever seen!), I began to understand how that book title reflected so much more than just a random addition to her reading list.
Beauty is an integral part of who Melissa is and what brings her joy. She loves flowers, glitter, poetry, and the color purple and laughed out loud at the unexpected gift of simple things like flower petals on her latte (after she had given up on the idea having flowers for a February photo session). But she’s also a strong, determined woman who carries her warm, bubbly personality into some admittedly difficult places. After studying nursing in undergrad, she is now finishing up a master’s degree in social work. Every week she puts her ideals into action at her job at a local women’s shelter. And she wasn’t afraid to embrace the beauty of her life right now by scheduling a photo session for just herself as she celebrates finding her voice again in this season and entering a career that she is absolutely passionate about.
And as she sipped her latte, Melissa pointed out the tattoo on her wrist – a simple semicolon – and shared that it serves as a tangible reminder of her hope, a permanent declaration (to both herself and others) that the story isn’t over and that beauty will still prevail.
Do you find hope and encouragement in beauty? How do you make space for beauty in your own life?