A Science Fair


It was not rock, dirt, volcano ash, fog, steam – it was all of it, a love for this place we call earth.  I heard the trickle of water, remembered how my feet felt if tickled by water flowing down a stream deep in a forest.   

A forest filled with broken branches turned to twigs – fallen limbs disrupt your path.  Every weeping willow, oak, pine, or maple can be destroyed by power from a single eye.  The eye of the orbit: Vision, brightens the forest.

Today I see a small forest filled with children, teachers, parents, and siblings at the annual science fair.  We are young, we spent hours dreaming of something new, and weeks constructing some new  invention, or object to catch the attention of a judge.  We wander to investigate what our classmate improvised and hope we are the one who climbs the stairs to the stage, and a ribbon is pinned to our chest.

school-science-fairMy eye was watching although it never blinked or stared, yet remained wide open without shedding a tear. My eye never slept in darkness or followed a passing stranger; a judge never lingered long in front of my eye.

It would be the same people, those who excelled in science, the teacher’s pet, and their feet would climb those stairs; on their chest a red or yellow, blue or gold ribbon is now pinned.  My eye watched.

My eye watched the flames shooting in the corner at the far right side of the room, and viewed a beam of light from a Bunsen burner, but the eye more powerful, it could wipe out cities or towns as it whipped up the coastline; the eye knew.

I remained behind the eye, stood proudly at my project – we all used our imagination. Inside a single room with wooden chairs and square desks we had space to talk to those who passed, those interested in our invention.  Every year we knew someone would shine, like taking our first step, or being the first to talk in the neighborhood, or leaping from the highest bleachers after a game when our team won, twirling not just a baton, one with fire on both ends; only one person wins.

My eye watched vapor rise as it began to float out of a glass bottle – my eye never blinked when a car flew overhead, but the eye knew everything would come to a close at the end of the day and once more return to be a part of next year’s Science Fair.  Fresh ribbons will be purchased, placed on display, and the same people will climb those stairs until they graduate and move on to another school.

The meaning of the eye, and all that one holds within its’ own dark forest is as powerful as a volcano, once you understand what a single eye can do.

Nancy Duci Denofio ©2013 “Yesterday’s Child”

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