I fear the death of Beauty.
The beauty of taste. Who’s looking out for the survival of flavors in a pasta sauce cooked all day? Of seafood caught and eaten right away? Today’s kitchen isn’t designed for those who cook but for those who rely on the microwave or order take-out.
The beauty of sound. Who listens to the songs of birds, trees rustling in the wind? Who’s encouraging children to study piano—any musical instrument for that matter? Not so they will become accomplished musicians, but so they will grow to appreciate a melodic concerto, a gentle rhythm inviting them to dance close.
The beauty of sight. Where are the protectors of natural beauty, adults who take time to show children flowering plants, luminescent insects, a brightly colored bird? Who drives amidst the varied landscapes of this country and points out vistas extending for miles? (On such journeys today’s children watch movies overhead.)
The beauty of touch. Who encourages us to run our fingertips slowly along a piece of tree bark, a velvety flower, a spiked blade of grass? Toys and kitchenware, even furniture, are made of plastic.
Most likely my children will read this, so I must be careful not to sound like I’m criticizing their parenting. My concern reaches beyond my grandchildren, though they are my means of glimpsing into current trends. And I want to avoid sounding like an old lady who’s always harkening back to the good old days.
But in my concern for the future of the planet I’ve come to wonder how it can survive if few people appreciate Beauty. To someone who’s never hiked a mountain range, what will it matter if coal companies blast tops off mountains? To someone who’s never waded in a stream, what will it matter if streams are polluted? Can humans feel empathy for animals or plants if they have not been “up close and personal?”
Yes, I fear the death of Beauty.