Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday morsel: "something better, something beautiful, something more" (from Julie Andrews)

I've been reading Home:  A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews.  It's a very interesting book detailing her difficult childhood and her introduction into the world of music and theatre.  In this section of the book, Julie is a teenager and has just heard from her mother some unsettling news about her family's past.

Not long after the revelation from my mother, I was gazing out of my bedroom window one day, feeling a little sorry for myself.  I stared at the garden, watching the birds swoop down and around the rosebushes....It mattered deeply to me that [the garden] not sink back into disarray, but it had.  The tennis court was overgrown, the roses had become wild, the gladioli were spindly, and everything was generally a mess.  It seemed symbolic of the condition of our family.

It was a hot summer afternoon, still and perfect.  It began to rain, lightly at first, but soon becoming fat, heavy drops.  I thought, " Someone send me a sign that there is something better in the world, something beautiful and worthwhile, something more to life than this."

I was gazing at a particularly large, full-blown rose, when all of a sudden one extra raindrop was just too much for it.  All its petals cascaded to the ground at once.  It was startling, and oddly comforting.

I subsequently wrote a poem about it:

A rose lay open in full bloom
and, looking from my garden room,
I watched the sun-baked flower fill with rain.
It seemed so fragile, resting there,
and such a silence filled the air,
the beauty of the moment caused me pain.
"What more?"  I thought.  "There must be more."
As if in answer then, I saw
one weighty drop that caused my rose to fall.
It trembled, then cascaded down
to earth just staining gentle brown
and, since then, I've felt different.
That's all.

- Julie Andrews, Home

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