Sitting on a hillside in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica, I look past the violet, yellow, and green homes with their red tile roofs to the pretty little town nestled in this verdant valley of hills/mountains.  Through the palms and tree leaves swaying in the brisk morning breeze, I see a peaceful blue sky with light, friendly white clouds that join their siblings until they form a solid gray mass at the mountain peaks – not a threatening, rain-bearing mass but rather a subdued gathering of chalk dust on the sky’s blackboard.

I choose to see the beauty before me in these moments knowing that other moments of potential appreciation will be stolen by focus elsewhere – perhaps the effort of walking these steep hills, conversation with another, or simply whatever becomes routine in these few days visiting my friend Richard.

Right now, however, I am struck with the Oneness that connects this scene with the Rocky Mountain backdrop beyond Loveland, Colorado, the rolling ocean in Ft. Lauderdale, the natural color profusion of Johannesburg, South Africa, and the breath-stealing, ever-changing hues of the Grand Canyon.  So much beauty in this world and it is all connected in the very essence of beauty.

There was a TV show (one of my favorites) called “Highlander”.  The catch-phrase of the show was, “There can be only one”.  In this context, that meant that those who were immortal had to keep killing each other because, in the end, there could be only one.  Yeah, I know – not a great plot line for my favorite show but the guy was REALLY cool and he had a sword!  Go ahead – rent the old TV series and tell me you don’t just love it!

But I digress.  I really want to consider that catch-phrase in a different context – that of beauty and truth.  As I noted above, the essence of beauty is the same, regardless of the form.  It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  So what is it that makes something “beautiful”?  It is an essence that is perceived because the perceiver knows the truth of this essence in their own core. 

We feel filled with awe and appreciation when we see a natural scene, a painting, a person, a baby, or hear a symphony, taste an impeccable dish, smell the aromas from a kitchen, or touch the skin of someone we love and it connects us to that essence of beauty. 

The next step is to connect the dots and know that “there can be only one”.  There is only one beauty because that essence is a single source, manifesting in all of these various, wondrous ways.  So when I sit here looking over this beautiful little valley, I am connected to the Grand Canyon, the Atlantic Ocean, the Rocky Mountains, the veldt of South Africa and so much more.  I am connected to the beauty that is in you and each other person and creature on the planet.

As I feel that deeply, I begin to know the truth:  There can be only One.