Spring is here at last! It symbolizes new life and new beginnings. We are all well aware of the overabundance of ugliness that runs rampant all over the world today; however, from time to time, we must remind ourselves of the beauty inherent in this existence of ours and pay tribute to those things which make life worth living.
Nature is the first thing that comes to mind. It was not until I moved to St. Louis that I was able to appreciate the changing of the seasons; it really is remarkable. The anticipation of moving from one season to the next is unlike that of anything I have ever felt before. Driving 2400 miles to and back from home has also provided me the opportunity of seeing a great deal of the magnificence of this land. Ice crystals hanging from the trees and mountain sides, frozen lakes, the powdery appearance of the ground once it is covered by a faint layer of flakes, and the pure color of white after a snow storm are only a few examples of things which I previously had not had the opportunity to witness. Then there is the beauty of the Gulf Coast back home. Sunsets and sunrises so colorful that it takes your breath away, clear starry nights, and the incessant, soothing sound of the waves crashing upon the shore are only a few examples. No words exist that can adequately describe the feelings one is overcome by when taken back by the beauty of nature. Forest Park is a very special place as well. One of my fondest memories is of an unforgettable day I spent there picnicking, canoeing, reading under a shady tree, and just relaxing.
Music is another one of the life’s treasures, and is, by far, the single greatest accomplishment and invention humankind has ever made. Different people have varying opinions about what good music is, but we all appreciate one form or another. Music has the ability to provide a temporary means of escape from the drudgery of life, and allows us to center ourselves in a way that nothing else can. I cannot imagine life without music; it is my source of spirituality. Artists like Claude de Bussy, Mozart, Miles Davis, Herb Albert, Prince, Enya, Sarah Brightman, Vangelis, and many more, have given their listeners more joy than they could ever realize.
Along these same lines is art. Taking Cultural Heritage with Dr. Finucaine renewed my appreciation of the abilities of man. Some examples of man’s genius include Greek sculptures, Roman arcs, Gothic cathedrals, Egyptian monuments and pyramids, the Sistine Chapel, the Parthenon, and the list goes on. Artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Monet, Van Gough, etc., were able to stir up emotions in people using nothing more than paint, something to paint on, and sheer genius. The same goes for great poets like Boudelaire, philosophers like Voltaire, writers like Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, inventors like Edison, scientists like Tesla, dancers like Barishnikov, athletes like Michael Johnson, and even martial artists like Bruce Lee who was able to perform physical feats so amazing that it left onlookers speechless. People of this caliber demonstrate the human potential and make me proud to be a member of the human race.
Perhaps the most universal thing that makes life worth living is love. Not just romantic love, but also love for family, friends, pets, nature, and life in general. Love is what we live for. Love is what inspires the creation of much music, poetry, art, etc. It has been the focus of countless philosophers, poets, writers, musicians, and others who have attempted to describe it. It is the strongest emotion a human can feel and it is the most passionate subject of all time. As biological organisms, we can live without love, but what would the point be? In one form or another we all feel love for something and as long as it exists, then life will continue to exist.
Now I realize there is the down side to these things that I have mentioned. Nature can be very destructful and extremely lethal. People’s behavior can also be very disappointing and foolish. There is hateful and harmful music out there. Today they call certain things “art”, but most of it is real trash. Love can also be extremely injurious and tragic. I will not be delving into these aspects of the subjects mentioned. For now, let’s just enjoy the positive side of these treasures of life.