Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Look

In the last week the weather has turned hot and muggy.  The flowers in the Heather Garden rejoice in it.  They have scrambled over each other, each vying for attention amidst the profusion of beauty.  Last evening, while walking along the central path, I passed a father photographing his small daughter in front of a burst of roses.  The girl posed with hip thrust to one side, right hand behind her head, confident of being the center of attention. Such drama in a six year old made me smile, and my attention was drawn solely to her.  After I had passed, I turned on impulse for a second look.  Beside the younger daughter an older girl stood with arms crossed.  Hers was a thin and gangly beauty.  The hurt in her eyes remained unveiled even by the prescription glasses that she wore.  I felt as if I had committed the same crime that I had experienced so many times myself.  In this world-- even in the Heather Garden-- the spotlight is occupied not by the most worthy but by those who feel entitled to it.  To avoid a lifetime of hurt, one must have the courage now and then to steal the spotlight away from those for whom narcissism comes more naturally.