Sometimes our old world feels like an awfully dark place, does it not? Oh, I know — if we just think positive thoughts everything will be all perfect again. That’s fine if it works for you, and I’ll certainly give it a try, but it’s hard to bend one’s thinking in that direction when we hear, read and see the daily news. Things seem to be in such chaos, violence, sadness, sickness and fear, and so many people are suffering, most of whom do not deserve to.

So here’s the deal. Deciding to make my worried and darkening thoughts go away, I have made the decision to occasionally focus for 24 straight hours only on pretty things.
Now hold on to your gag reflex. I’ll make every effort to not get too saccharin, sappy or even gooey. But I honestly think if I focus on pretty things I can obviously not be focusing on nuclear bombs and … well … you know where this is going.

Ready? Here goes.

Have you ever noticed how pretty cream is when poured into iced coffee? How it swirls and undulates in the dark liquid?

And have you ever walked behind a little girl with long strawberry-blond hair and the sun is shining on it? Gorgeous. Some women pay good money to get that look from a salon, but on a sweet child playing in the sun, that hair color is really pretty.

Want to know what else is awfully pretty? Looking through a row of greenhouse plants on a shelf in front of a window when it’s snowing outside. Those green leaves against the white snow … soothing. Makes one remember that summer promises to one day reappear.

Sunlight landing on a crystal goblet.

Those little green glass eyes on tiny stuffed animals.

Butterfly wings under a magnifying glass.

All those thousands of minuscule stitches on a quilt made by a lady 200 years ago.

A sleeping baby’s eyelashes against her chubby cheeks.

The color of a cut-open avocado.

And Key Lime Pie.

And apricots.

And an alligator’s eye.

And a black horse’s coat in the sunshine.

And a newborn pine cone.

And clover.

And moss — and speaking of moss, have you ever gotten way down and close to it and seen how beautiful it is? Like a tiny lush forest.

And isn’t the color of the undersides of mushrooms truly pretty?

Isn’t it pretty when a car’s oil drips into a rain puddle on the street? Or when dripped water creates star bursts on inked paper? Or when a police car’s gorgeous flashing blue lights reflect on someone else’s car at night?

Isn’t it pretty when trees bend and dance for summer winds? Isn’t it pretty when a little child smiles widely at you from its mother’s shopping cart? Isn’t the white cream in Oreo cookies pretty?

Aren’t the shiny iridescent gleamings on black beetles’ wings pretty?

And oh my, the prettiness of possum feet, and mice feet, and the clumsy, tripping comic baby elephant’s feet. So pretty.

And pale aqua sugar-free glassy cough drops … so pretty.

The bellies of inchworms.

Have you ever been out West on the plains after a rainstorm? The smell then is very pretty and the views, of course, are beyond pretty.

And pretty is sweet music coming unexpectedly from somewhere as we walk along the street.

The flash of red on a speeding red-winged blackbird.

An old woman’s straw hat with spring flowers in the headband.

The edges of a lake on a hot still summer day.

A big glass bowl of jelly beans.

I suspect about now you’re just starting to go into a sugar coma. Sorry about that. But while I was writing this and you were reading, we didn’t even once think about the bad things out there, did we?

See? It worked.