I wonder what beauty is

I wonder what beauty is. I have been seeing lovely things all my life, but they never moved me, never presented themselves so poignantly as they have done since I entered into adversity. Now beauty appears as something more than itself. It seems to me a gateway into God. the thrilling, moving, tremendous thing about it is not the especial aspect under which it appears, not the tree, the flower the bird note at dusk, but the occasional sense of otherwhereness, of something more, a marvelous Something — complete ecstasy — that beauty half reveals... It is this overpowering Something, hidden in the midst of beauty, that moves one so exquisitely, tears the heart out, almost terrifies at times by its nearness — "Oh Ecstasy behind the grass, come softly when Thou comest nigh!"

~ from A SECRET JOURNAL by Jane Steger