Grey clouds. Large puddles of water. Empty streets.
I pulled my coat tighter and wrapped my arms around myself. I shuddered a little as the piercing cold penetrated through my skin mercilessly. Every step almost felt unbearable. I could already feel water seeping into my summer flats creating a small pool under my foot. The temperature was dropping. I couldn’t believe it was September and it would reach 4 degrees at its lowest. Bowing my head to cover my face, I started to hasten my footsteps praying somehow I could escape from this misery.
The rather dull monochrome colors of the landscape was uninviting. I reluctantly relaxed my tensed shoulders as I stepped into the Hinckley center. Phew. I let out a sign of relief. I was finally here – at the BYU china conference.
I had made it in time to watch a beautiful dance performance choreographed by one of Brigham Young University’s own students. These dancers moved with such elegance, precision and swiftness. I was in awe of the emotion they displayed with just their expressions and body. As the ballerina extended her legs for a pirouette, I caught glimpse of her beautiful features. There was a sense of confidence that exuded from her face, radiating in her posture and gestures. Colors of red, black, blue, white flashed as the dancers flung their silk ribbons into the air in all sorts of directions. It was both a dramatic and colorful performance.
Although I’m not a dancer myself, but I thoroughly appreciate dance performances. I love the music, I love the colors but most importantly I love the dancers. To me, dancers are the most beautiful people because of how daring and courageous they appear to be. They are fearless and bold. Each twirl, each leap, each step is done with absolute confidence. My cousin is a professional dancer, and she embodies every one of these qualities – confidence and beauty.
What is courage? What is beauty?
These are concepts that are very abstract but intriguing and crucial. When it comes down it – it is to be yourself. To confidently stand on the stage of the world and dance to the beat and rhythm of life. Sometimes it speeds up, others times it slows down, but no matter what you continue to dance. There is no pausing, no faltering, even if a mistake was made no one would ever know, because they’re taught to always continue on.
In reality, we are all dancers. We each have our own life songs to dance to. Every day we battle with different worries, insecurities, challenges, temptations, failures but we can still courageously dance through it all. We may make stumble, we may make wrong choices. That is the reality of every dancer’s journey. But despite it all we can still find joy through the dance of life- just like how I can still find beauty in the cold, unwelcomed rain today. We choose how we see the world around us. Soon enough, I promise, the vibrant shades of red, oranges, auburn, yellows of the summer sun and of fall will come. You make yourself who you are by simply believing and trying. Face life, face people, face yourself confidently. Be true to who you are and know that you are enough.
That to me, I guess, is beauty, because courage is always beautiful.
Adapted from EatingWell
Ingredients -serves 2
- 2- 4 ounce tilapia fish fillets
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 large pinch of dried rosemary
- 1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp orange zest
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 handful of green beans, washed and trimmed
How to Make:
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Heat up a small pan over medium high heat, sauté your onions till softened (5 minutes).
- Add in the tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, orange zest. Stir and allow it all to heat through for 2-3 minutes.
- Next add in 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 pepper and dried herbs. Mix.
- If it looks too dry add in water. This step is optional, depending on how juicy your tomatoes are.
- Once the tomato mixture is boiling and bubbling, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- On a pre-oiled baking tray, lay out the fish. Season with the remaining 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.
- Spread the tomato mixture evenly over the top of the 2 fish fillets.
- Scatter the green beans around the fish in a single layer.
- Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. This will also depend on your oven.
Zoe & Mia
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