What is truly beautiful to you? Is it the face of someone you love? The first several notes of your favorite song? Or perhaps it’s a sunny day.
Today's show featured a conversation about beauty with physicist Frank Close, a man who travels around the world following solar eclipses. "Although it's the same moon going in front of the same sun, each one is different," he says.
We asked Takeaway listeners to share their stories of experiencing beauty.
Listener Pete Storm in Massachusetts texted us to say the most beautiful thing in his world is "Muir Woods in May right before dusk."
Alex in Washington recounted a summer romance: "A couple years ago I had this awesome summer romance and we went on a road trip around the Olympic Peninsula. He drove up to this viewpoint that was way high up and looked out over the Olympic Mountains. We got there at sunset. We got to this clearing, we see the mountains, the sound, and the sky is orange and purple. This fog comes up over the mountain -- it's white and super clear and just spills all the way down the mountain side. My eyes got so teary; it was so beautiful. And then, he kissed me."
That wasn't the only story we got about love. A lot of listeners called to describe the beauty of being a parent, like Maria in Pembroke Pines, Florida. "The best sound in the world is the sound of my two boys laughing-- especially if it was I who made them laugh," she said. Greg from Sparta, New Jersey recalled a similar moment: "I think one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen is my 2-year-old nephew hugging and cuddling his newborn baby brother."
In fact, we got more responses about childbirth than anything else. Brittany Barker from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida called to say, "The most beautiful thing I've ever experienced was the birth of my baby girl on October 22, 2012."
Of course, sometimes we find beauty in moments of complete solitude, like Liam from Jersey City. Here's his story: "I was 16 and it was the last night before we had to leave my grandparents' in Vermont from Christmas vacation. After a week of rain, it finally snowed so I tried getting the family out for some night-sledding, which was the tradition. No one bothered to come around, so I was the only one out there. There are no words for how the moon clear night sky and the falling snow all worked together to create the most beautiful scene I've ever experienced in 24 years of going to my grandparents' rural Vermont home. It was like the world had stopped. The only thing I regret is that I had no one to share it with."
What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Let us know in the comments.