I found myself aching with a heavy heart yesterday. I know this is no big announcement to anyone out there, but so very often the pain of life can just be so – sad. So sad and hurting. I was going up our walkway and caught sight of the smoke bushes in our front yard. I think I’ve painted them every year because of their intense color. I hadn’t gotten to them this year and there are just a few leaves left on the upper reaches of the swooping branches. I grabbed my paints and realized, as I was painting away, that I was experiencing a different kind of ache. In the late afternoon sun, they caught the light and they were “achingly beautiful.” Trying to absorb and capture some of their beauty certainly didn’t make my heavy heart go away, but somehow it seemed to counterbalance it a bit. I think beauty can do that.