Come Out and Play!
--by irongrace, posted Mar 11, 2009
I thought it was rather odd when my friend from the nursing home asked me to motor her wheelchair through the puddles that formed from the melting snow. I didn't really get it, but I went along with it. We were out on one of our walks or what I like to call one of our"weekly strolls" because I stand and she rolls. Adhering to my friend's peculiar request, we were off on our watery wheelchair adventure! We splashed through each puddle together and came out of each experience, slightly damp and smiling. In fact, after a few puddle excursions, even I started looking out for larger and more daunting puddles to sail through until one day we were out on our stroll, and to our dismay, no puddles were to be found. They had all dried up.
Keen on keeping our strolling adventure alive, we discovered something new that awaited us. As we headed down the residential street, there was a small pile of leaves. My friend asked me to roll her through them and we did like two small children rushing into a cluster of autumn leaves which flew up into the air, softly floated around us and then made their way gently back to the earth.
It was at that moment that I reflected more deeply on my friend's predicament. My friend had been in a wheelchair her whole entire life. As a child she never gotten to splish and splash through puddles or sprinklers or fly into a pile of leaves or roll through snow or feel her toes wiggle in the warm grainy sand. Her family always instructed her to "be an adult" and as the obedient daughter, she did her best to fit the mold, but I now see that the spirit of the child had been locked inside her for all these years. So, all she wanted to be with me, was a child who was free, free to laugh and play and get wet.
From wheelchair speeding through puddles and leaves, and across lawns, to howling with laughter, and screaming for no particular reason, we were like two playmates realizing what it truly meant to enjoy life, despite the strange looks or grouchy remarks we would hear from those around us who had let the joy of life slip through their worn fingers.
Thanks to my friend, I am now on a mission to find all those children within us and make them come out and play!
To mary rader - have you ever felt what it's like running, crashing through or falling on top a pile of leaves, it's amazing! The crackling sound of the leaves in your ears, the crisp fresh smell and the amazing feeling of joy whilst looking at the seemingly uncountable amount of leaves folding like a blanket around you, scattering in all directions as it makes it's way back to mother earth, and falling back on top of you as if to say, let's do it again!
I personally wouldn't mind constantly raking up piles of leaves for others just to get this amazing experience. Try it, i'm sure you might understand :-)
I really enjoyed reading this little but hart warming story, thanks for sharing! And keep on playing ;-)
There's a kid in all of us that loves the puddles, leaves, etc. Your kindness let your friend enjoy these things that she couldn't have done on her own. I sure you had a ball too! :)