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The World As I Have Found It / Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl By Mary L. Day Characters: 4948

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

"Sweet is the hour that brings us home,

Where all will spring to meet us;

Where hands are striving as we come,

To be the first to greet us.

When the world has spent its frowns and wrath,

And care been sorely pressing;

'Tis sweet to turn from our roving path,

And find a fireside blessing;

Ah, joyfully dear is the homeward track,

If we are but sure of a welcome back!"

Home again in dear old Baltimore, where over my cradle was sung my mother's first lullaby, and where so many localities were invested with the charm of loved association. I of course visited the Institution for the Blind, which would not, in its many changes, have seemed at all like home but for the music of a familiar voice and the presence of dear Miss Bond, who still with loving dignity presided as matron, throned in the majesty of noble humanity, and crowned with purity and goodness.

Dr. Fisher, Mr. Trust and Mr. Newcomer still faithfully held their positions as Directors, and cordially welcomed me home. Mr. Morrison, the new Superintendent, and his most estimable wife, although they had never seen me, brought me near to them by the bond of sympathetic kindness, and seemed not like strangers but friends.

It seemed singular to those who had known little Mary Day to have her go back to them a married woman, and indeed, for the moment, time seemed to have gone backward in its flight; the dignity of the matron was forgotten, and I was a child again, even little Mary Day. I felt glad of an assurance from Miss Bond, that so fondly had my name been cherished, even by those in the institution who had never met me, that it was regarded as a "household word," and that enshrined in the most sacred niche of the temple of love was the image of Mary L. Day. As a testimony of this continued affection I was fondly urged to remain in the institution while in the city, but, as I had so many resident relatives, I declined.

My cousin, William Heald, who had by his kindness infused light into some of my darkest hours, had won a lovely woman for a wife, and certainly no one more richly deserved such a consummation. Cousin Sammy Heald had also married his fair fiance, of the West, who in her sweet purity of character, beauty of person and a life fragrant and blossoming with good deeds, could justly be called a "prairie flower." He had been ordained a Methodist minister, and was winning true laurels in his little charge in Iowa, to which conference h

e belonged. He had chosen his proper vocation, for as a preacher he was "Native, and to the manor born," for when a wee boy, he had written and declaimed many a sermon, and had his mimic audience been a real one these efforts would have produced electrical effect.

Among the many changes in my Baltimore circle was the vacant chair at the fireside, once filled by my uncle Jacob Day, whose memory and whose life was pervaded by the odor of true sanctity. It could truly be said of him at the sunset of a beautiful life, that

"Each silver hair, each wrinkle there,

Records some good deed done;

Some flower cast along the way,

Some spark from love's bright sun."

He had been a great leader in the Sabbath School movement, and a prominent feature of the funeral cortege was a procession of his pupils in pure white raiment, who, in token of their love and bereavement, strewed his grave with flowers.

I cannot close my home chapter without an expression of exultant pride for my classmates who have done so nobly in their various vocations. Two had entered the literary ranks as book-writers, and had met with marked success in the acceptance and sale of their works; three stood high as teachers; one earned a good living by tuning pianos; several were engaged in various departments of the institution; and two ranked high as musicians, which profession has seemed an especial field for the blind.

To use the musical measure of poetic prose as rendered by Mr. Artman, one of the most renowned blind authors-"There is a world to which night brings no gloom, no sadness, no impediments; fills no yawning chasm and hides from the traveler no pitfall. It is the world of sound. Silence is its night, the only darkness of which the blind have any knowledge. In it every attribute of Nature has a voice; the beautiful, the grand, the sublime, have each a language, and to me, whose heart is in tune, every sound has a peculiar significance. Sounds fill the soul, while light fills the eye only. 'In the varied strains of warbling melody,' as it winds in its graceful meanderings to the deep recesses of his soul, or of the rich and boundless harmony, as it swells and rolls its pompous tide around him, he finds a solace and a compensation for the absent joys of sight."

And so I close with a blessing upon the members of my class, and may the God of light and love illumine their paths, and glorify their lives, is my earnest, heartfelt prayer.

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