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Koch: Beautiful things are happening all around — just open your eyes

| Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

It's so easy with so much bad news swirling around, and so much stress in our daily lives, to miss the simplest of beautiful things going on right around us.

Just over the course of the past couple of weeks, I learned a little something about real-world beauty, and nature.

Let me share:

• On July 19, as the rain came down, hundreds of people in your community came out to Fern Hollow Nature Center to celebrate music and the arts.

They laughed, they danced. Children played in the puddles. They ate, they listened to young local bands and greeted Pittsburgh music heavyweight Rich Engler, undaunted by the clouds and constant downpour. The Sewickley Valley community, it seems to me — more often than not — supports each other in this way.


• Last Monday and Tuesday, I watched my new high school graduate sit through meetings, chart a course and make new friends as she attended Pioneer Experience — a fancy way of saying orientation — at Point Park University. Seeing her eyes open to new possibities for her life and to the adventures that await in her city brought a tear to my eyes — more than once.


• As we sat unwinding from the frenzy of our college break-in to cheer our beloved Pittsburgh Pirates on in front of the TV, we were struck by a couple of things.

I don't believe in any other city on a Tuesday or Wednesday would you see a stadium that packed to the gills. Nor do I believe the camaraderie and admiration between players — who often show their feelings by acting like just a bunch of happy boys — is the norm in any other city in these grand United States.


• OK, this one might seem a little creepy, but bear with me.

Now, keep in mind, I hate spiders. I'll do anything to avoid them and can't even get close enough to kill one.

Lately, overnight almost every night, the loveliest web is reconstructed in one corner of my back porch. I told my husband how fascinating I thought the recurring webs were and that I almost wanted to see their creator.

He looked around on the ground until he found a deceased ant and tossed it into the web, welcoming mister colorful spider down from his hiding spot as if offering him a special meal.

The spider, all striped, orange and brown and so big I'd normally run from it, wrapped up his delivery and hoisted it back to his hiding place, only to come back down and repair the nature's artwork that is his home a few minutes later. Beautiful... yes, even that.

We miss so much in our everyday lives as we hustle here and there and try to make it all work. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I say the key is that the beholder needs to have his or her eyes truly open to see it.

Mya Koch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. You can reach her at 412-324-1403 or

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