By Mark Antony Rossi
Without making a joke I sometimes struggle to find Beauty in Life. There are days I stare at my wife and children and only receive waves of obligation; not heavenly profound revelation. I question if military service, urban politics and decades writing about the human condition has wore down my internal eyes. The metaphysical eyes we need to see beyond the Corona Virus so “deadly” it still hasn’t beaten last week’s drunk driving death toll in New York City.
It’s been said becoming a parent is a surefire way to relive your own childhood. But I don’t want to do that since mine was more serious and less fun than most. So, I’ve been learning to live my children’s childhood by having fun and attempting to see what they see in the world. I work in various ways for them to see Beauty in Art and Nature through writing contests at school, watching musicals at theatres, trips to wildlife parks, finding shark teeth on beaches, locating coins with metal detectors, enjoying old movies together.
As much as I appreciate this part of parenting, I can’t help but feel these experiences will create more well-rounded boys who will grow into men with a stronger world view and firmer moral code on how they treat women, people of different cultures and culture in general. Boys need a captain to steer the ship until they are old enough to take the reigns and make critical decisions. While I do believe Beauty can be found in Art and it can be appreciated, applauded; maybe held in some high esteem it still pales in real comparison with the yellow rose outside my door step. It bloomed again early this year due to unseasonable warm weather. And I don’t let the family leave the house without smelling it.
I realized in the complicated techno-mad society we inhabit we also need regular reminders of the Beauty of the Natural World surrounding us. We can admire a colorful cartoon but we should praise the delicate structure of timeless perfumed flower. We can be dazzled by incredible visual special effects but we more astounded how a hawk can dive 200 mph from a tree branch to grab a field mouse. You don’t have to hug a tree to salute Nature, but by showing proper respect there’s a good chance you won’t burn down the forest. The Beauty we may still find in the world will come from the courageous few who risk their standing to face down a dopey-named virus and not allow it to separate people from people. That division cannot be cured by a vaccine. Only the human heart is bold enough to hold hands with strangers. There’s a Beauty I can believe in.