Beautiful…but it doesn’t smell so good!

My new computer came pre-loaded with an option to change my screen background automatically – every 30 minutes it chooses from a selection of incredible photos featuring wildlife from around the world. When I turned my computer on this morning I was greeted by an amazing photo that brought back memories of a trip I took to Kenya a few years ago. The photo captured the flamingos at the Masi Mara game reserve – over a million birds gather together in the shallow depths of the sulphur lake in the middle of the park.

From a distance all you can see is a patch of pink in the midst of a vista of sand and dry ground. As you get closer it becomes apparent that the colour is shimmering and you realise that there is constant movement going on. Finally you arrive and are amazed by what you find – more long-legged, long-necked birds that you can possibly imagine – standing ankle deep in the waters of the lake. As you look there is always movement, as the birds walk, preen or scoop their long necks into the water to feed upon the pink krill which gives them their distinctive coloured feathers.

If you come too close you are given a show that takes your breath away – one bird will take flight and then it begins, thousands of birds respond and fly in unison landing about a kilometre away. It remains one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen but there is a catch which I haven’t mentioned.

One million birds living in a sulphur lake…the beauty was only matched by the stench. The combination of a million bird droppings and the pungent sulphur was unbearable. The only way you could spend more than a few minutes watching was to breathe through your mouth – after a while, your eyes watered and you began to feel sick, soon after you were happy when the guide said that it was time to leave.

Seeing the photo on my computer this morning reminded me that beauty is not only about what we see but also about what we smell. Many things that we grasp for in this life are beautiful and impressive to look at but they have a stench about them when you get close enough.

So if you are interested in obtaining something beautiful that also smells good why not reach for “faith, hope and love” – I found that these never disappoint and will fill your life with joy and a fragrance that you will be happy to share with others!

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