The gift of sight is wondrous.
The thought of never knowing colour, never seeing a sunrise, sunset or starlit sky, the bird that sings such a beautiful song, perhaps not even knowing what a bird is, or have no idea what our loved ones look like, fills me with sadness.
Those who have lost their sight during their lifetime are lucky to at least have memories. For them, people will never age, they will always be remembered as they were before permanent darkness fell.
When Maggie was a puppy, we tried to cover all eventualities of people and circumstances she would encounter.
We saw a man sitting on a park bench, and in his hands was a white stick.
I approached him and explained about our puppy, asking if he would mind if we brought her over to say ‘Hello’.
His face widened in a smile as he reached out his hands and asked if he could hold her.
He asked all sorts of questions about her breed and colouring as he smoothed her coat whilst she happily licked his face as puppies do. He said he used to have a dog many years ago and was hoping to get a guide dog in the next few months. A golden labrador was being trained especially for him.
The first Seeing Eye dog was a German Shepherd, one of my favourite breeds. Love Leads the Way tells the story (tissues needed) .
When I worked in a bank in the 90s, at a business lunch, I met up with a switchboard operator and his dog. Yes, he was blind, having lost his sight in a car accident some 30 years before. Cindy was his fourth guide dog, and together they had raised thousands of pounds for charity through talks and sponsored walks.
Going back a few years to 1985, Eric Stoltz, Sam Elliott and Cher starred in a film called Mask (not to be confused with Jim Carrey’s OTT comedy, The Mask in 1994) .
From my childhood, I remember elderly aunts with cataracts, though in those days operations weren’t as available as they are now, and they would wear darkened glasses even indoors.
There is so much to see, and so much we don’t notice, either because we’re tired, distracted, or stressed due to the pressures of everyday life.
‘Looking without seeing’ covers it so very well. This is probably why whenever I write about our walks in the woods, birds in the garden, people, pets, or even a short story, I try to bring the reader into my world, to see as I do, to be there with me. Hubby says it works, but then he’s usually by my side, so that doesn’t really count, but I hope he’s right.
Yesterday afternoon and this morning, we had a hail shower. The temperature has dropped over the last few days but I was still surprised to see these little marbles of ice falling from the sky on what had actually been a sunny day. It was fascinating to watch as they bounced erratically off the grass, like hundreds of tiny ping pong balls on a green trampoline.
I try not to take things for granted now, and if I see something wonderful, beautiful or unusual, it’s my nature to want to share it. Just in case someone missed that particular moment, were unable to see it as it was gone so fleetingly, or sadly couldn’t.