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    The Beautiful (Barred) Bridges of Ithaca

    December 21, 2010

    Today Dave and I drove to one of my favorite places on earth—the “gorges” Ithaca, NY. The day was one fantastic collage of indulgences…

    …having coffee in the Cornell campus café with Totka, our Bulgarian friend…

    …walking across the Cascadilla gorge, stopping to gaze far below at waterfalls tumbling over giant icicles and frozen streams…


    …having Indian food at Sangam and reading Dave’s mind from across the table (Isn’t it wonderful the way the curries tap dance on your tongue…. Don’t forget to have some kheer)…

    …finding a perfect skirt for Ruthie of plaid and satin at Trader K’s for $3.25….

    These are but a few of the things that drew me northward to leave the quiet hills of Gillett, Pennsylania, and enter the hustle and bustle of college town.

    Something happens to me when I cross the city limit into Ithaca. I come alive—especially on the Cornell campus, or in the Commons. I like to sit and watch the rainbow of individuals go by: professors walking with determined pace; bikers sleek in their spandex, zig-zagging past Chinese physics majors hurrying to compensate for shorter legs, and hurrying because of their endless energy; hipsters and Goths with their electric hair and messenger bags, meandering through accommodating crowds.

    Ithacans represent for me the soul that beautifies itself with questions, doubts, searches and discoveries. Faces are left unpainted while spirits shine with the brilliant color of individual thought. It’s all beauty.

    That’s what I was thinking on the bridge. That the gorge below was as lovely as the people that walk across it day after day.

    Then I looked up and saw that they have added a wire structure atop the railing since our last walk across:

    It seems not everyone sees the beauty of the falls. Some only see the fall. The escape. The luxurious jump that ends all that has gone wrong in this world. Intense academic pressure and broken relationships have caused one too many to miss the voice that can be heard in the thunderous rush of an icy waterfall:

    You are beautiful. More beautiful to Me than even this, which was made for you.

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