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September 3, 2020 By Mary Ann McKinney

Our Birthright

The five senses with which we were born color our lives in ways that we cannot fathom. Some of them are more acute than others. However, when one is missing or even dulled, the others take on some of the missing roles.

The sense of hearing comes into play each spring evening when we step out of our apartment house into a crescendo of frog voices croaking their lullabies. In the summer, the crickets will take over where the frogs left off. Sometimes we hear an owl or two wooing one another or a band of coyotes surrounding their prey. At the opposite end of this audio spectrum comes the noise made by humans and their inventions: angry voices, automobiles, leaf blowers and music intruding upon the peaceful sounds of nature. I recently received my first hearing aids. They make my life safer and easier for those around me. My dear husband no longer has to repeat and repeat his words to me, which gives us both blessed relief.

The sense of sight is an added blessing. We chose to live on the third floor of our apartment house so we could admire the sky — sometimes adorned with beautiful clouds, sunrises and sunsets, too. Among the sights I admire are: my carpet after Valerie finishes her weekly vacuuming, a happy smile on Tom’s face, the beauty that surrounds us in the grounds of PVE, the sight of the dogs leading their owners out for a stroll and even a peek at the pesky squirrels darting here and there.

I believe that our sense of taste is linked to our sense of smell. While writing this, I have been thinking of the delicious tastes I love. Here are a few of my favorites: homemade strawberry ice cream flavored with vanilla and almond, and, of course, the strawberries themselves. Warm apple pie flavored with cinnamon and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I am also fond of crisp fresh celery, carrots, radishes and cucumbers and a fresh ripe tomato off my own vine. I love the olives from a gin martini . . . yes, I like the taste of juniper berries as well!

The sense of touch can act as a warning when our fingers collide with a splinter or something rough and scratchy. When grocery shopping, it’s important to me to be able to touch the fruits and vegetables I am buying. We are asked not to touch the peaches at Brazelton’s, but I cannot overcome occasionally giving them a slight squeeze. Our granite countertops hide many areas that need scrubbing of which we wouldn’t be aware without touching. There are loving touches that make life beautiful. Soothing touches can act as healers whether or not we are aware of that fact.

Life would be so bleak and bland were it not for this birthright. We are made in marvelous ways, are we not?

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