There is a scene in one of my favorite movies, City Slickers, where the Billy Crystal lead character is talking with his one time nemesis-turned friend, the crusty old cowboy, Curly, played brilliantly by Jake Palance (he won an academy award for his role). In the scene, Crystal asks Palance if he has ever been in love. Palance answers that, yes, one time he was in love. He was in love with a women he saw one day years ago while on a cattle drive, standing far off, wearing nothing but a cotton dress in the hot summer sun, and the sun was illuminating the shape of her body through the fabric of her dress. That vision was all that Palance needed. He never bothered to meet her and just kept the memory of that moment afterward. It was his one true love. “I figured, it does not get any better than that,” he said, or something to that effect.
Seeing the outline of a woman’s body through her dress is one of the special delights of summer. It is one of those special surprises, a hidden and unexpected joy amid the hustle and bustle of a busy and often crass world. When I am fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a woman’s legs or even more though the fabric of her dress, I indeed thank God for allowing me to see something beautiful, although transitory and ultimately unattainable. Such experiences makes each day a little better. Beauty comes in many forms, and hidden and sudden and unexpected visions of beauty are often the most precious.
Curly, that great old cowboy, understood this.