Anne Notations

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Eyes wide shut

Caroline is all smiles, but Daisy will never be a model at this rate.

Earlier, much earlier, while the frost was still on the beach grass, we watched the Brant geese floating near our seashore, softly honking to one another.

The year-round beauty of this coastline-heavy state is something I'm privileged to share with our granddaughter. She loves being outdoors in all weather, and is captivated by flowers, plants, birds, airplanes, and trucks.

Are we born with an innate attraction to beauty, or do we learn it? I believe some people are blessed genetically with a heightened aesthetic disposition, but we can all learn to open our minds and hearts to beautiful aspects of this world -- seen, heard, and felt. My beloved Nanny Girthofer sat with preschool-me for hours and helped me crayon in the intricate floral designs in an old-fashioned coloring book. With her embroidery scissors she snipped out roses and lacy borders from greeting cards, then helped me arrange them in lush collages that we pasted to construction paper. Dad took gorgeous color photographs on his travels around the country, but Mom in fact was my greatest aesthetic influence. Nature, art, music, literature: these were her passions, and at her side I learned them well. Now, they are mine.

Caroline will turn two at the end of this month. I have a few cute gifts ready to wrap for her birthday party. It will please me if I also give this curious little girl some of my own joy in the beauty so generously surrounding us. Unlike a toy, the love of nature is a gift that lasts a lifetime.


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