I don't do much on social media, but I do belong to one group (now a closed group) on Facebook that's all about finding beauty in the earth and promoting handcrafting and rural skills. After being bombarded all day with scary, depressing, and hysterical news, this Facebook group is such an oasis of peace. The contrast is stunning -- people building each other up, supporting and cheering for each other, people posting beautiful scenery they've come across in their rambles through forest and moor. They show the shepherds' crooks they've carved or the pottery they've made or the wool they've spun. They announce the birth of piglets and the rescue of burros. They encourage each other through illness, loss, and house moves. They teach each other foraging skills and offer accommodation to anyone passing through their part of the world. They share recipes and suggestions to minimize waste and support the planet. It's just a genuinely kind, friendly, compassionate group, without an unkind word, and I'm really pleased to have stumbled across them, a peaceful place to take time out from a chaotic and angry world.
I've discovered something else from this group that I didn't expect to find, too. Since others are posting photos of beautiful spots they've discovered on the planet, I find myself watching for beauty I can share as I walk the dog or go about my day. I'm alert to loveliness in a way I wasn't quite before, with the added incentive to share it with someone else. It changes my outlook. It expands my awareness. I look for handmade crafts and tools that I may have overlooked before. I see the beauty hidden in a fallen tree or a paw print on stone.
I'm grateful to the person who started up this group, and I'm grateful for the men and women spread across the globe, from Europe to Mongolia to Australia to the Northwest Territories, who contribute to this group. They are such a refreshing change and give me hope for the world.