View from Hickory Heights: Our everyday wonders

On the Internet I recently found something that piqued my interest. On a site called the “Power of Positivity” it listed the Seven Wonders of the World like this. “We can: see, hear, touch, taste, smell, laugh, and love.”

This is more than the five senses. It also includes feelings such as laughing and loving. While I readily accept that the five senses are important, I also see the side of adding feelings.

If asked which of my senses I would like to do without I have no answer. They are all important parts of my life. Recently I watched a movie about a woman who lost her sense of sight. She thought her life and her days of working were finished. Someone came into her life to show her that her life was not finished. She learned to work again, but in a different way. She learned how to get around, but again in a different way. Once she had a seeing eye dog, she became even more independent. It was an inspiring movie. I saw blindness through different eyes.

Then, there is the sense of hearing. I found that she heard more things because she was blind. The sense of hearing is enhanced to compensate for the loss of sight. Her dog helped with that. I surely would miss the song of the birds each morning. That being said, I would not miss the cawing of the crows that wake me up each morning. I would miss music. I like all types of music.

When I was going through my diagnosis of cancer and was subjected to all types of tests, I was able to be still because I sang songs in my head. Most of what I sang were the old hymns that I knew by heart. What a comfort those songs were to me. One of the technicians asked how I was able to stay so still. I told him about singing the songs in my mind. My faith allowed me to remain still.

My grandfather was very hard of hearing. He wore hearing aids from the time that I was a small child. I remember grandma making him a little pouch to carry the first hearing aid.

Later he had them on his glasses. I learned to enunciate my words so that he could understand. He read lips a little bit as well. We always had the television turned up quite high for him to be able to hear.

Most of us do not realize how many things we are able to assess by the sense of touch. We feel heat, cold, roughness, smoothness, sharpness, as well as how heavy something is or how light it is. If you could not touch it would be hard. The sense of touch is important to life. They have found that babies crave the sense of touch – even those beginning life in incubators.

Touch is a part of love for others.

As a teacher, I remember in school we were told not to touch the children in the later days when I was teaching. That was hard to do for me. Often, I stopped a behavior with a simple touch. I conveyed my concern for my students that way as well. I retired from kindergarten. Touching was such an important part of my day. The students wanted to be close to me. I have a great immune system that I credit with my teaching career. Who knew where those hands had been?

Then, there is the sense of taste. I never take this sense for granted because my husband was unable to taste and it made his life hard. It became very hard for him to want to eat. How would it be not to taste anything? He could taste sweet and sour. I often made pickled vegetables because he could “taste” them. He also could taste sweet so he loved the sweet breads that I made. I am not sure but I think he could also taste spicy foods because he often ordered something with a little spice. He often commiserated with a lady from the church who also had lost her sense of taste.

Smell is important too. Smell can save a life. My mother had no sense of smell. She could not smell anything cooking, even if it was burning. I suppose by what I know that it affected her taste as well. I know that flowers smell nice, but because of my allergies, I do not appreciate their smell. It triggers a stuffy nose and runny eyes. My spring allergies are alive and well.

When I read through my diary, I get the sense that laughing is important to your health. It feels good to laugh. I often write how good it felt to laugh during certain times. When I have been out with friends, I come home feeling refreshed because I have laughed a lot.

These things truly are wonders. They are what keeps us going.

Stop and think about your senses or your wonders. Are you happy you have them? Are you appreciative of them? Say a prayer thanking God for your senses – they make all the difference in life.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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