When I was in third grade, I looked at the white board and saw a blur of red and green marker. I knew that these masses of color were supposed to be words, but the letters were indiscernible, the text unrecognizable. I asked my teacher to write in black marker instead, because if I squinted hard enough, I could just make out the letters. She complied, but the problem worsened. Soon enough, my parents were informed of my poor vision, I was taken to an eye doctor, and magically my eyesight was restored with the help of a pair of very round, very purple wire glasses. From that moment on, I learned not to take my eyesight for granted. I discovered the glory of individual leaves on a tree. Freckles and eyelashes were revealed; I could read street signs from more than two feet away, and most importantly, that faded red marker on the white board was no longer my enemy.
Since that first pair of purple frames, I’ve gone through my fair share of glasses and contacts. Yes, they are expensive. Yes, they are bothersome and easily lost. But then I look out over a Pacific Ocean sunset, and I am able to see the whitecaps on the rolling tide, the sand crabs as they scurry for safety, and the last whispering of wings soaring over the water before nightfall. These are the moments when I realize that sight is the greatest gift we can be given. Without vision, we would live in a constant state of dusk, blind to the beauty of the world that is so easily taken for granted.
College of Liberal Arts
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA