“There is something quite beautiful about a life.”

That may seem like an obvious statement. (It comes from James Hillman’s book, The Soul’s Code, which I quoted in our last post.)

But it’s worth reflecting on. Do you regard your life as a thing of beauty? How about the lives of those around you?

What about the lives of characters in novels for kids?

One of the things that make novels so magical is that they take a life and turn it into a work of art—a thing of beauty.

For example, the reader senses that there’s something beautiful, romantic, adventurous about Huck Finn floating down the river helping Jim escape.

Many stories nurture this sense that a life can be a thing of beauty. And this is good. Because the way we think and feel about life will affect the way we live it.

Then Hillman says something interesting: “Without beauty, there is little fun and less humor.”

Without a spirit of beauty and wonder, life tends to become utilitarian, plodding, repetitious, predictable. As Macbeth said, “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day.” Not much fun going on there!

I think good stories can nurture that thirsty part of the soul that secretly believes that a life is and ought to be something juicy, fun, courageous, adventurous, full of laughter and tears, marked by successes and failures.

In other words: something beautiful!