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To Annie Downs, Author of Looking For Lovely.

I came across this post as I was scrolling through blog-drafts, and thought I'd upload it. This was written over a year and a half ago (perhaps further back in the past), and I still see the truth in it.


Dearest Annie Downs,

Here's me. And us. Thanking you for your brilliant, lil' buds of truth. They're blossoming all over Downfield, Scotland, in the midst of our broken and beautiful.

From the introduction of your lovely collection of stories, you captured our distracted curiosity with this one, honest confession:

I need to see the lovely in my every day. I crave it. Maybe because I have felt it missing in me----in my heart---for so long. Whenever something beautiful is in my sight, I want to devour it. I want to breathe it in, hold it, swallow it, keep it. But what is it? What is beautiful?


We aren't the only ones overthere, nearerhere wondering this, are we? There's a whole lot of us in this world wondering about this beauty.

Let's search for beauty, you said. And when we find it, let's prepare ourselves to fight for it. Let's redefine and live it.

Sometimes, when hopelessness seems stronger, we wonder if there are still beautiful things to be found. And the world says, be optimistic.

But, see, optimism isn't really the same thing as hope, is it? Maybe it's close, but mostly, we think, not quite close enough.

Hope is eternal. It is the treasure that, no matter how lost it may seem, will never lose its value. Gold is still gold at the bottom of the chest.

Treasure is like that; it is buried deep-down somewhere------we know where-------underneath the skin.

You have to find purpose in the digging, in the maps and the searching-----in the suffering. Hope is found in this perseverance, in your character and proven faith.


You are enthusiastic about sincerity. Looking for Lovely reads with the strongest sense of sincerity. We listened to your "broken crazy," the way you opened a bit of your heart to show us all the places it has been shattered, and we responded with our wounds and worries.

In the seven sessions of Looking for Lovely, you examined the extraordinariness of beauty and reminded us not only to look for lovely, but also, live it.


Shanley McConnell & the girls group at Downfield Mains, Scotland.


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