Bruce had just turned four on our road trip across the country to settle in Prince George, B.C. He was delighted with our big, new, empty house and his first experience with wall-to-wall carpeting. He whooped and hollered as he ran at top speed until finally he tripped and almost fell…but he caught himself.
A look of pure joy and wonder crossed his face as he exclaimed, “The gravity from up was stronger than the gravity from down.”
Today, some forty-eight years later, I came in from yardening and turned on the television. Syria: poison gas; Afghanistan: MOAB; North Korea: threats of missile launching. The word that immediately came to mind was “ugly.”
I quickly switched over to YouTube where I happened upon The Story Telling of Science (July 18, 2016). The panel, ranging from Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson to Bill Nye, talked about their relationship with science; there was camaraderie, laughter and pure joy as they spoke. It was wonderful to listen to them with the knowledge that these men worked to discover, to achieve and to enrich the lives of their countrymen as well as people in foreign lands they’d never met nor would ever meet.
When the programme was over I went back outside. As I stood looking at the tulips about to burst into bloom, the squirrels chasing each other along the rickety fence and the lone robin in the neighbours’ cherry tree, I asked myself. “Will the beauty from up be stronger than the ugly from down?”
I don’t know. I wish I could answer “Yes, yes, it will” but I can’t. I’m not four years old.
by Ann Antigano