a freckled Rachel
One summer, after days spent running outside in the sun, my older brother and I discovered our freckles had turned green. We ran through the house telling everyone and laughing at our images in the mirror. It’s one of the last times I remember taking joy in my freckles.

Photo Credit: Carrie Hoge, Quince & Co
I am freckled. Freckles speckle my forehead and cheeks, dot my neck,
boldly cover my shoulders and arms, and cluster on my kneecaps and shins. Not even my hands, fingers, knuckles, feet and toes are free. Wherever the sun hits, I have freckles. 
I have a love/hate relationship with these freckles of mine. They make me more like my mother, one of the most beautiful women I know. But they are also traditionally considered a flaw. They mar my pale skin.
I’m freckled. I’m imperfect. For years, I beat myself up over this fact. I hated myself. I tried to force myself into what I thought the world wanted. I tried to be thinner but curvier, shorter but not too short, blonder or redder but not in-between. I wanted smaller hands, smaller feet, a smaller waist but bigger bust and hips. I tried to learn when to be quiet and when to be raucous, when to laugh and when to swallow my humor. I tried to erase my freckles. I tried to be perfect. 
I still remember the day that I really started to change. It was about halfway through college. I’ve never been good at trusting people with who I really am. But there was one person there who I let know the real me. We were walking down the hall after a class when I think I made a self-deprecating joke about my freckles. She countered with a line from Gerard Manley Hopkins “Pied Beauty,” “Glory be to God for dappled things.” 
In the poem, Hopkins thanks God for all things pied. Pied means multicolored, spotted, dappled . . freckled. Hopkins’ is thanking God for: 
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
Some years ago, a friend gave my siblings and I handmade mugs. I chose the mug with an imperfection. The clay had collapsed slightly at the lip. When I started dating my husband, I gave him that mug. He understood. That mug was me, fragile and imperfect. Whenever he drank from it, he held that slight curve, that imperfection, against his mouth. It was a perfect fit. 
A freckled bride
In seeking perfection, we too often miss what we have. Life is freckled. It’s never perfect. But we can choose to see the beauty in the imperfection.

This blog is me. I’m done with pie-in-the-sky expectations about my personality, my looks, and my life. I’m ready to love, discover, and enjoy my pied, freckled life for what it is. 
I’ll write here about what I love doing. I love writing, sewing, cooking, reading, and philosophizing. In short, I love creating as well as reflecting on other people’s creations. This is something of a DIY/fashion blog, but it’s one with a twist. This is a blog about the beauty of life in all it’s messiness. By blogging about what I love doing, I’m also blogging about where I find that beauty. It’s in the journey of creating, that I have learned and continue to learn to appreciate the life I’ve been given.
When trying to nail down the theme of this blog, my husband summarized, “Even beautiful women have freckles.” I’d like to edit that statement. Life wouldn’t be half so beautiful if it weren’t for the freckles.
Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things–
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him. 

Rachel Kaye Estelle

6 Comments

  1. Reply

    jessicaesther

    February 4, 2014

    I love this post. One thing I've learned over the years is that even the "perfect" people are dissatisfied about something.

    I don't remember exactly when it occurred to me, but at some point I realized that it was almost a given that people with curls wanted their hair straight, and people with straight hair wanted curls, and so the best thing for me was to *decide* to be happy with my curls. Why be dissatisfied with what God gave me and spend my entire life trying to change it? I think it is when we embrace our so-called imperfections that we realize how special and beautiful they are.

    Now if I could just get used to my dark under-eye circles, we'd be all set. 🙂

  2. Reply

    Rachel Kaye Estelle

    February 4, 2014

    I think the biggest part for me lately has been learning to be content with my life and its imperfections. I do, of course, believe in consciously moving forward and changing your life when needed, but I'm learning to be content with where I am throughout the process. I might not be where I hoped to be once upon a time, but where I am is pretty great, too!

  3. Reply

    jessicaesther

    February 4, 2014

    Ooooh, yes, that's a big one for me lately, too. I've been struggling a lot with dissatisfaction with work, home, our as-yet lack of a growing family… But I'm really working to be content where I am, because God has blessed us with so much good.

  4. Reply

    jessicaesther

    February 4, 2014

    Ooooh, yes, that's a big one for me lately, too. I've been struggling a lot with dissatisfaction with work, home, our as-yet lack of a growing family… But I'm really working to be content where I am, because God has blessed us with so much good.

  5. Reply

    outsideairblog.com

    February 10, 2014

    Love this post…such a beautiful intro to the new blog. I happen to love all the freckles you Andrews have :] Darren has quite a few himself and my mom is very freckled so I'm hoping we'll have kids with freckled noses and knees too. You are so right, life is messy and imperfect but so achingly beautiful too. That poem you included is so beautiful too…never read it before, glad you decided to share :]

  6. Reply

    Rachel Kaye Estelle

    February 10, 2014

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's been on my heart and mind a lot lately.

    It's funny to me how many Andrews have freckles now, but the "original 10" didn't really have them. I guess they all went for freckled brides and grooms;)

LEAVE A COMMENT

RELATED POST