I sat up in the strange bed fearing it had been a dream, afraid I would never see her again. Not because I wanted anything from her, only her presence. The disappearance of the presence of beauty is the most despairing of events on this time-wheel of ours that rolls onward towards death.
The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.
The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.
That is the earth, he thought. Not a globe thousands of kilometers around, but a forest with a shining lake, a house hidden at the crest of a hill, high in the trees, a grassy slope leading upwards from the water, fish leaping and birds strafing to take the bugs that lived at the border between water and sky. Earth was the constant noise of crickets, and winds, and birds