“A hundred million miracles,
Are happ’ning every day,
And those who say,
They don’t agree,
Who do not hear or see.”1
I arrived at my freshman year of college, an undeclared major, without a commitment to a profession. My course selection consisted of graduation requirements, one of which was a year of science. Biology was suggested; so, they wrote in: Biology 101, 102; Mrs. Brown.
Mrs Brown was the wife of a minister. She was very devoted to her husband and my first impression was that she was teaching to support the family income. I quickly learned that Bonnie Brown was in love with LIFE and teaching biology. I have had few teachers who brought such enthusiasm to the class. Mrs. Brown spoke to me and she wanted to give me a gift each day. I accepted each message, initially, because I didn’t want to disappoint Mrs. Brown. She invested so much with each lesson, I could not let her down.
We met six hours each week; all in the biology lab. She laid out a specimen or a microscope demonstration. Hundreds of times: “Look at this. See it? This is beautiful!” And very soon, I internalized Mrs. Brown’s gift: the beauty of Life and all things living: ovum, sperm, fertilization, the embryo, organ development, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”, cells, tissue, organs, plants, animals, microscopic life – miracles!
It was that gift which led me to medical school and the life of a physician and teaching medical students.
1 The flower drum song Rodgers and Hammerstein