One summer when I was in high school, I took on the project of tending some morning glories. I was quite enthusiastic about these plants. I tended them, checked on them, and they finally grew beautiful flowers.
This experience was one of my first appreciations of something for purely aesthetic reasons. Before it, I had looked with mild scorn upon those things that did not serve a pragmatic, utilitarian purpose. This was the first time I recall perceiving profoundly the beauty of the natural world.
Now, I look around and rejoice in the life I see in the bright green leaves of the trees, in the fresh and forcefully rising blades of grass. I smile at birds, hesitantly landing near me to feast on morsels discarded by wasteful humans as refuse. I am grateful for the morning glories, because they began this appreciation. I breathe in the warm spring breeze and I remember them.