Beauty was Everywhere
We welcome, the world seemed to say; we accept; we create. Beauty the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now and again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks – all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty that was the truth now; Beauty was everywhere.
From Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
Original book cover from 1925, by Vanessa Bell, the sister of Virginia.