There is no one thing that stands out in my mind as more beautiful than any other. All the beauty crowds around me like a room filled with bright little children. “Me! Me! Oh, please tell about me!” They all clamor for my attention. So, one at a time, I line them all up in chronological order and let them be remembered.
At eighteen months, I recall the pretty blue enamel paint on my metal stroller-walker. And the wild roller-coaster ride on which it took me, bumpety-bumping down two flights of stairs into the basement while my horrified mother and grandmother helplessly grasped, too late, at empty space, as I giggled past them. I loved speed then, but not now, unless, of course, it is on a roller coaster.
Then, at two, the beauty of the Niagara River as it flowed past my backyard on Cayuga Island where Dicky Culp drowned as I watched his pretty pink face so quickly disappear under the water and downstream. He didn’t even struggle. I didn’t understand.
Wintertime, not being allowed outside, I remember watching as Jack Frost painted his delicate filigreed fern leaves on the windows when I was three. No matter how hard I looked, I could never catch a glimpse of him, even though I could clearly see the palm fronds he created wondrously growing before my eyes.
Except for the lovely soft fur of Tabby, the cat and Cubby, our dog, I recall the world as a sad dark place for the next few years. Then one spectacular day, spring dawned beckoning me to look outside my upstairs bedroom window. Suddenly the world was beautiful again, as I watched the First Robins frolic in my frosty front yard. Each passing day, they bustled about singing and crooning, carrying bits of dried grasses in their beaks until the completed nest cradled between the three thick main branches of the elm tree beside the road not twenty-five feet from my curiosity. Budding in tiny lime greens, the leaves miraculously grew with the lengthening days, luxuriously covering every view of that robins’ nest except for mine. I saw the babies thrust their necks and winced as they frantically screeched for Mama and Papa to feed them. Gazing, transfixed, I spent a lot of time kneeling in worship at my windowsill that spring, Until the day, Pinky, my tomcat, removed Mother Nature’s gift before I could even open my mouth to scream. I guess Pinky saw another kind of beauty there. I loved Pinky enough to forgive him.