‘Mind’s Eye’ Vision 20/20

Published 7:28 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

You may recall “been there/done that” experiences differently. If so, be my guest. Mine is a mundane wish that you close out the old year as you choose. It is, after all, your life, and only a few hours remain before peals of 2017 bells are heard.

During an aborted springtime trip to San Diego–one of the world’s most beautiful cities–I beheld the grandeur with just one eye. It was a strange way to awaken that fateful morning. Loss of half my vision overnight was not anticipated.

Dashed were plans to explore a city where all seasons yield to spring. Taking priority were plans to change plane reservations for a return home to the Metroplex ASAP.

Back home, Dr. Parchue–an ophthalmologist whose name sounds like a sneeze–diagnosed a damaged and detached retina. Within hours, he had performed surgery, and my pilgrimage back to restored vision–albeit slower than preferred–was underway.

Caring friends asked if I’d been a wreck or sustained a blow to the head.

“Can’t anything be the result of high mileage?” I countered.

It’s a plus that the “mind’s eye” is 20-20. Heading the recall list is akin to “California dreaming.” To some readers, my memories of a shortened trip may seem to be in an unlikely order.

We had spent our last “full vision” day at the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and beach walking near the San Diego Hilton Resort and Spa, where the grounds were awash in greenery, flowers and leisurely walkways.

What we most remember, however, were not “up close” visits to destinations featured in travel brochures. Instead, we recall the joy of children being children. Some busied themselves in simple joys of pursuing a mother duck with her ducklings. Others were enthralled by a collection of dogs, cats, birds and pigs. The “collection”–at least a large majority–has one thing in common. Before they were trained for “stardom,” they were shelter-adopted animals.

The children seemed oblivious to promotions, particularly at SeaWorld, where Shamu’s whale act is ending its long run this year. Of course, the youngsters joined adults in applauding Shamu.

Their prolonged clapping, however, was for the rescue animals.

And why not? These “lesser stars”–devoid of pedigrees and portfolios–performed as if their lives depended on flawless performances. Maybe it is more likely they anticipated pet treats awaiting them at acts’ end.

   Back to the ducks. As the sun was in descent’s final rays, I chose to “sit a spell” on a hotel bench. I marveled at my wife’s careful inspection of numerous flowering plants. She even spelled their names so convincingly that I would have challenged anyone suggesting corrections.

Soon to command my attention, however, were a couple of tykes, likely brother and sister. The older was perhaps six years of age; the other, around four. They fell behind a mother duck and her 10 trailing ducklings.

They mostly kept a safe distance a few paces behind. When the mother duck accelerated, her brood scampered to keep pace, and so did the children. I resisted the temptation to pick up a duckling for the children to feel their soft yellow down. I did, however, reseat myself several times as they paraded up and down walkways. As dusk drew in, the parents herded the children toward the restaurant. The youngsters looked back, however, for final glimpses of the little ducklings as they followed their mother, waddling away into the night.

I was grateful for my doctor’s dismissal some three months later. Surgery had been successful, and vision in my damaged eye was at least 95% renewed.

It’s a grand feeling, at year’s end, to enjoy reasonable vision and generally good health.

There’s much for which to be thankful, including the “mind’s eye,” which seems never to age. I intend to depend on all three eyes in 2017, however, and wish for you and yours good health and much happiness.


Don Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.