“I learned a great many new words that day. I do not remember what they all were, but I know that mother, father, sister, teacher were among them – words that were to make the world blossom for me ‘like Aaron’s rod, with flowers.’ It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was as I lay in my bed at the close of that eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed for a new day to come.” (Helen Keller)
Mother, father, sister, teacher. Words that would make the world blossom. It’s hard for those of us with sight, hearing and speech to imagine the world that was Helen Keller’s. At just under 7 years old, she had very little communication with the world around her. That day with Anne Sullivan started her on a most magnificent life.
I am struck, as I write this, about the words she chose to remember. Mother, father, sister, teacher. Among the first words she remembered were those to describe her closest family members, and a teacher. It was from this small beginning that her life blossomed.
Those first people in our lives, our parents, siblings and teachers, are who help our lives blossom as well. It is through the experiences we have at home, and in our early days of school, that we learn that there is so much more beyond the confines of our own bodies, of our own existence.
Today I ponder, in awe, the effects that all those who came in close contact with me in those earliest years had on my life. Many of us come in contact with children on a daily basis. Knowing that we are helping their lives blossom is quite humbling indeed.