December 8th, 2011

Waylaid by Beauty

The other night, I met Eleanor -- 97 years and younger than most.

She chuckled and smiled as she spoke confidently about being legally blind.

"I can't read print or see faces on television but that's okay"

She started working in 1952 at a long-gone Buick dealership in Sewickley as the office manager -- four years before I was born. We talked for some time and both agreed that happiness is nearly always a choice rather than being so much a product of circumstance. Eleanor lives at home, cooks, cleans and does her own laundry. Someone in her building brings her groceries.

I asked her how she has remained healthy and happy

"I've always walked and I love people"

So what makes beautiful? It isn't the city where you live, the words you know and surely it isn't in the shape or form of your body.

* * *


I had forgotten how the frogs must sound
After a year of silence, else I think
I should not so have ventured forth alone
At dusk upon this unfrequented road.

I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk
Between me and the crying of the frogs?
Oh, savage Beauty, suffer me to pass,
That am a timid woman, on her way
From one house to another!

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay