4. The Sense of Beauty

Last night I found the perfect opportunity to introduce my eight-year old daughter to the universe. Just before bedtime, I told her that I had a surprise for her and that she must close her eyes. At first she was excited, but then mostly curious when I wrapped her in a blanket and opened the door to carry her out in the cool night air. “Where are we going?” she asked. “Just keep your eyes closed and I’ll show you,” I said.

 

About fifty yards from the front door is the clearing where I would take her. When we arrived I told her to first tilt her head up to the sky and then slowly open her eyes. She did that, and in quiet amazement – there, wrapped in the quiet stillness of the dark clear night — she beheld the spectacular display of stars on the sky’s domed stage.

 

After a moment she gasped as if it was the first time she’d ever seen the night sky. And together we whispered about what we saw. I pointed out the bright light of the North Star and the groupings of the Little and Big Dippers as well as the Pleiades. We saw the band of light that looks like a cloud in night sky, which is the edge of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

 

I realized last night that through the eyes of my child I too had seen the universe anew. I thought about just how important it is to add life back to things that we so often take for granted. I’m thankful that the night sky, like most beautiful things, is resolute and continues to show her beauty despite our witness. I am going to remind myself to look up more often with eyes of wonder. And who knows, maybe I’ll see something again for the first time.

 

Day 4 Guide

 

With an eye for design, purpose and meaning, look again at some of the more common things in your surroundings and in your immediate experience. Look at the things in nature, your relationships and your memories. Realize just how important it is to often renew the feelings of how “big” life is.

 

© 2005, Levi Hill

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