I was on my morning jog when I came across an elderly woman. This had been a sight that I had become accustomed to but something about her caught my attention. I wasn’t really sure what it was until this day. Was it the way she looked or the peculiar reason that I was intrigued by a complete stranger? I wasn’t sure.
She had a bony nose that resembled a high heel with a well-defined jawline. She must have had black locks that were now turned to stone. But I could not see her eyes as they were covered by black sunglasses. She must have been sitting there for a while as her clothes were dampened by the morning dew.
I decided to take a break and sit next to her. She glanced at me and then continued to look in front of her. I was astonished. It was as if I wasn’t even there. I looked in front of me only to realise the front view of the park. But soon I realised that she must have been looking at something else.
I sat quietly at first but the fact that I couldn’t see what she was gazing at bothered me. I jogged my thoughts for a while and finally made up my mind. I decided to ask her. There was deep swallow before I was able to form the words in my dry mouth. I think at once stage I actually stuttered.
“Hi, there,” I said. “What are you staring at?” At first, there was no response. But then she figured out that I must have been talking to her. I think it might have been all the staring I had been doing. She looked confused at first and then realisation came across her face.
“I’m looking at the beautiful canvas,” she said. I was lost. This was just an average park. She laughed at the sight of my pretty confused facial expression.
“Allow me to explain to you,” she said. I felt like a complete idiot. But nothing was special about this park so why was she so intrigued by it.
Once again, she asked to explain and I allowed her. “Do you feel the breeze on your skin?” she said. I replied, “Yes, I do.
“Does it not remind you of the touch of a loved one?” I looked at her and felt the breeze gently touching my skin.
“Do you hear the song the trees are singing?”
Yet again, I chose to listen to the song.
“Yes, I can hear them,” I replied.
“Does it not remind you of the voices of cheerful friends telling each other a good old-fashioned joke?” she asked. I was intrigued.
“Go, on,” I said and she simply laughed.
“Can you smell the summer flowers blossoming?” she said.
Again, I replied, “Yes.”
“Does it not remind you of a freshly-baked pumpkin pie? Now open your mouth and taste it,” she said.
At first, I hesitated but decided to try eventually. I could taste it in my tongue. I was in absolute awe.
She appeared to have moved closer to me and I was not sure what to expect next. I asked her, “You could tell all this by looking at the park?” She giggled softly and took off her glasses.
“No,” she said. I was dumbstruck. She was blind and had lost her sight many years ago. Where her perfectly shaped eyes were, was now resembled by glass-like marbles.
She might have realised that I had been in shock and said, “We choose how we want to see the world. I may be surrounded by darkness but I choose to live my life in the light.”
I came to realisation that I had everything I needed and still found that it was not enough while the woman I just met had no eyesight but still saw and experienced life at its best. From that day forward, I chose to live my life to the most of my abilities and will continue to do so.
Tell us: How does the story of the elderly woman who was visually-impaired make you feel?