Beauty is Truth; Truth is Beauty

Dear Reader:

Beauty and Truth…they are synonymous. John Keats has had it right all along. When I unloaded my car Monday morning and took all the plants out I had gotten for my birthday…along with more plants waiting for me from my neighbor Vickie…I stood there breathless watching the multitude of beauty evolve before my very eyes on the front porch. Fall suddenly descended right then and there.

And in the middle of it all…sat “Little Red”…so happy to be home again…but, also, so grateful for the tender care he had received from Tommy and Kaitlyn…he had added leaves and looked even more handsome than I remembered.

Soon I will begin planting all the flowers in the garden but for now I just want to line them up on the porch and smile every time I go in and out the door. My own private fall garden on the porch!

Lori, Mandy’s adorable neighbor, gave me a diet coke since she knows I love them….a vice for sure but there could be worse ones…a cute Boo glass (“More Boo’s Please”)  and a notepad that reads:

“I don’t know how to act my age…I’ve never been this age before.”

I love this statement because it is so true. Didn’t we all think as children growing up (wishing to be adults and independent) that one birthday…one age…(perhaps 18 or 21 or 30) ….would suddenly, magically transform us into being all “grown up?” I sure did.

Now I know differently. I think we get to a certain stage (more than age) in life and remain there…if we are lucky. Like Peter Pan I don’t ever want to grow up…instead I always want to be surprised by life and do silly things just because I can. I always want to take a risk when the opportunity arises and welcome adventures into my life.

It is a shock some days to look in the mirror and see a face that looks familiar but different at the same time…a face that is growing older…along side a body that doesn’t cooperate as well as it once did…Yet inside I feel alive and ready to go where the ‘action is.’

There is no chronological number I can place on myself  any more…I am simply “deliciously” alive and still going. That is good enough for me.

I still find life mysterious and amazing. It opens up teachable moments for me each and every day. I am no longer the teacher but the student who keeps on learning from each year of life.

Which brings me to an underlying lesson in Anne’s beautiful orange zinnias watercolor she made for me for my birthday.


It has been two hours since I typed the last line…. I was going to take a close-up picture of the zinnia painting and remembered the bag with the painting was still in the back seat of the car…I went to get it and discovered there was no car in my driveway. My car had been stolen.

The police have been here…been on the phone with my insurance….done everything I can do until all the reports are in.

I have lived in this neighborhood since 1982…and early Tuesday morning my car was stolen….so sadly Anne…the painting was too…the story lives on…and I will tell it another day. Kinda sad and mad right now.

So until tomorrow…Thank you God for the gift of not having the ability to see around the bend…because Monday, my birthday, was such a wonderful day…that I can hold on to those memories today.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh (it still is…possessions are just that…possessions.) Inconvenient yes…but still just an annoyance.

*** I couldn’t write a script like this….Yesterday after a long strange bizarre day I got a call from the police that they had found my car. It is dirty inside with papers and stuff thrown all around but no major damage to the car. He threw the baby seat and console papers in the woods…but guess what Anne…he didn’t throw out your painting. He must have liked the orange zinnias too! My head is still whirling so I will wait until tomorrow….to update you…just know God is good!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to Beauty is Truth; Truth is Beauty

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh ny goodness…..why the green car? I can feel your questions because I drive an older car too. But…it is the only way for me to get to where I need to be.
    Can’t wait to read the’ rest of the story’.


  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Oh, Becky, that is so awful. I am grateful you got it back. My son-in-law, next door, had all of his yard tools stolen from a trailer in his back yard last week. Things can be replaced, but the feeling of being violated in some way is very hard. We, like you, have lived on a street with almost no crime of any kind until last year when several people lost things from their yards including someone’s golf cart, and suddenly, we were locking house doors more carefully. Please be careful, and do lock that front door. It is a shame, but there are a few of those kind of people in this world, but I am so happy that there are so very many more people who aren’t. After we have our cars for a while (my old blue is now 16), they become like old friends. Some of us name them and even talk to them. Well, maybe not many people do that, but I’m just saying, “It is possible”. Thankful she is home.


  3. Cindy Ashley says:

    So glad you got your car back. There is more and more of this happening lately. My car is always locked when on driveway. House too, even when inside.


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