Sounds of Color
by Rachel Burkum
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
The view was breathtaking. Brittany\'s twelve-year-old eyes widened as they tried to take in the entire scene. She\'d had no idea this garden was here - this haven, nestled in the center of the park\'s grove of oaks and pines. Her hand tightened around her grandmother\'s as if almost afraid if she let go, she might fall into this fairytale-like picture forever.
Brilliant flowers and shrubbery blossomed everywhere. The colors of vibrant petals seemed to dance from flower to flower in rhythm with the soft gurgle of the little pond that was adorned with blooming lily pads. Tree branches provided a cool canopy for weary hikers, should one stumble across this oasis. The scent of lilacs beckoned the senses with tantalizing sweetness.
\"Wow.\" Brittany almost dared not speak, her utterance but a whisper.
Grandma chuckled. \"Isn\'t it pretty?\"
\"It sure is. How did you know it was here?\"
\"Oh, I\'ve been here a time or two myself, little one.\"
\"But how did you find it?\"
\"It was your grandpa who brought me here on our first date.\"
Brittany giggled and tugged on Grandma\'s hand. \"Can we go sit on the bench over there?\"
\"I can\'t think of anything I\'d like more.\"
Brittany led the way, and soon grandmother and granddaughter were seated on the little wooden bench nestled in a small bunch of flowering bushes.
\"Why did you want to come here?\"
Grandma smiled and gave Brittany\'s hand a squeeze. \"Because it\'s so beautiful.\"
\"But Grandma...\" Brittany bit her lip, afraid she might be rude. \"You can\'t see it.\"
Grandma\'s smile didn\'t fade in the least. Perhaps it even brightened. Letting go of Brittany\'s hand, she put her arm around the young girl and kissed her head. Her dark glasses shielded eyes that had, for many years, lacked precious sight. \"Ah, but I do see, child.\"
Grandma put a finger to her lips. \"Shh...now close your eyes.\"
\"But - \"
\"Close your eyes.\"
Brittany sighed but did as she was told.
\"Are they closed?\"
\"Now listen very carefully.\"
Brittany scrunched her nose as she listened. It only took her a few seconds to break the silence. \"I don\'t hear anything.\"
Grandma took her hand again, encouraging her to try. \"Listen...you will hear it.\"
\"But I don\'t know what I\'m listening for.\"
Brittany wondered for a moment if her father was right. He\'d told her that Grandma sometimes made funny comments, and she didn\'t always \"think the right way\" anymore. \"Grandma...you can\'t hear colors.\"
\"Oh, no?\" Grandma\'s eyebrows rose above the rims of her glasses. \"I hear the bright green leaves of the trees rustling in the breeze. I hear a black and yellow honey bee, buzzing from flower to flower. I hear the chirp of a red cardinal just above our heads.\" Excitement began to fill her tone. \"I hear the long stems of the pink hollyhocks brushing against the far fence. I hear the happy chattering of squirrels that are playing in the golden rays of sunshine.\"
Brittany\'s eyes had opened as her grandmother spoke and she looked around the garden, following the rainbow of descriptions. Her mouth slowly curled into a smile as her surroundings took on the life of more than just visual stimulation.
\"I can hear the cry of the hawk as he soars up high in the bright blue sky,\" Grandma continued. \"I could hear the soft brown earth under our feet when entering the garden.\" Her hand found Brittany\'s again. \"What colors do you hear?\"
Brittany closed her eyes once more, and suddenly she began to see with her ears. \"I hear the moss-green water in the pond rippling against smooth gray rocks.\" She giggled. \"I hear two orange-breasted robins arguing in the pine tree in the corner. I hear... an airplane?\"
Grandma chuckled. \"What color is it?\"
\"How am I supposed to know?\"
Brittany held her eyes shut tighter. \"I don\'t know what color the plane is, but it leaves a long white cloud behind it.\"
\"Ahh. We cannot always know what an object\'s color may be, but we can imagine. We can build a painting in our minds. We can see the beauty God puts around us every day...even if our eyes fail us.\"
Brittany finally opened her eyes and she looked to her grandmother once again to study her face and high cheeks that proudly wore the lines of laughter and joy. It was a face of peace...a face of calm beauty. \"I hear love,\" she whispered.
A short gasp came from Grandma\'s lips, followed by a bright smile. \"So do I, Brittany. So do I.\"
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Reader Count & Comments
Just beautiful - I agree, very precious.
This is precious!
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