|A Child Learns about Love
remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word
"love." This was before I knew many words. I
had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my
teacher. She tried to kiss me; but at the time I did not
like to have anyone kiss me except my mother. Miss Sullivan
put her arm gently round me and spelled into my hand, "I love
is love?" I asked.
me closer to her and said, "It is here," pointing to my
heart. . . . Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then
understand anything unless I touched it.
the violets in her hand and asked, half in words, half in signs, a
question which meant, "Is love the sweetness of
said my teacher.
thought. The warm sun was shining on us.
this not love?" I asked, pointing in the direction from which
the heat came. . . .
A day or
two afterward. . . the sun had been under a cloud all day, and
there had been brief showers, but suddenly the sun broke forth in
all its southern splendor. Again I asked my teacher,
"Is this not love?"
is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun
came out," she replied. Then in simpler words than
these, which at that time I could not have understood, she
explained: "You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but
you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty
earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love
either, but you feel the sweetness that it pours into
everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to
beautiful truth burst upon my mind -- I felt that these were
invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of