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By J.R. Dalton

    I was recently moved when I read the essay “Two Ways of Seeing a River” by Mark Twain. In it Twain gave an eloquent tribute to all the beauty he saw on the Mississippi riverfront as a child. He noted how the simplest of things like the breaking of a wave in the wake of a steamboat looked or how a log floating downstream would completely grab hold of his curiosity and intrigue. By the second half of the essay, Twain digressed, saying that he no longer saw the wonder or beauty on the river the way he used to, but that now he only saw each mark of Creation to be just a symptom of high tides and other deteriorations of nature. Twain concluded by saying that “the romance and beauty were all gone from the river.” He then gave a metaphor saying “I have pitied doctors from my heart,” “What does the lovely flush in a beauty's cheek mean to a doctor but a "break" that ripples above some deadly disease?” He began to wonder if this doctor had grown so intelligent in his education and occupation that he no longer saw freckles as beauty but as a natural deformity.

    As a child, I ran and played outside all day. Every fall I’d climb into a pile of leaves to watch as one little ant would carry back food to his family. I followed the rolly-polly’s and chased the squirrels through my backyard. I recall sitting in my grandmother’s lap and staring up at the flecks of gold and silver in her lavender eyes. There was so much wonder and beauty in my world as was in Twain’s. My question to you is whether or not you are still captivated by the little things or have your jobs, worries, and responsibilities educated you so much that you have lost that passion for simple elegance? Is this the price of adulthood? Take some time this week to notice all of the wonderful things you were once curious about. Think about how those things changed you and never lose sight of what is truly beautiful in your life.

1 Comment

  1. Belinda

    October 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    very nice, and honest to God truthful!!.. 🙂

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