I'm the one with the hat on the bike decorated with streamers :).. My youngest brother is right next to me. I actually remember this day vividly and the way that Michigan sun felt.
So, why GREENGREENGRASS (name of my old blog)?
I hate shoes and if I could walk barefoot all day, I would. I've always been like that and perhaps that is why I never placed much emphasis on shoes as an adult - even if I had the choice to wear any shoes I want, and choices weren't so limited due to leg braces.
Of course the cliche is we never appreciate the simple things until we lose them, and I am that cliche to a degree. I actually DID enjoy this simple pleasure when I was a child, though. I loved, loved, loved to walk through freshly mowed grass with my toes curling between the cool grass blades. At the end of the day I loved that my little feet were dirty and sometimes blistered. This showed it was a day of playing hard and nothing beat the Indian summers and the smell of freshly cut grass.
I have three brothers, which meant I grew up a tomboy. My biggest memories are running around with them, sometimes till sundown, all dressed in army gear, holding our plastic guns. I miss this simple pleasure so much. Nowadays, I pretty much can't walk without my orthotics/braces and shoes on. I named my blog GreenGreenGrass, because most things break down to simplicity...it always goes back to simplicity, just look at nature and it's design.
A couple years into my condition my balance was getting shaky and little things seemed to increasingly be an obstacle. I recall a memory of my younger brother, Josh, poking fun at me as I was walking out of the house. "Watch out Kam, the grass hasn't been mowed. It's extra long today", he said. I think I fell trying to walk through grass one day and that is where this joke came from. It's also when I realized, "Oh shit, that's weird...grass is a problem?". Josh was of course kidding and when he would say this joke, I would laugh so hard that the muscles in my back would stop me from walking. That's the way we are, we make jokes of everything and so do I. If you can't make fun of yourself then you're in trouble. He and I soon graduated to the joke of him rolling small pebbles under my feet as an "obstacle course". Apparently I was in training :)
I digress. Anyway, that moment was a simple one...but it stands out.
Because I had "it" and now I don't, I've become extremely observant. I see people differently, I'm aware of my surroundings because I have to be so I don't fall. I place importance on different things and I miss the feeling of running, the wind in my face and walking without having to think and planning EVERY SINGLE S...T...E...P. I miss it. I sometimes catch myself intently watching people walk or run and it is such an amazing thing to me. "How do they do it with such ease?", I wonder. If I see a group of runners or soccer players playing I will stop and watch their legs and feet in movement. I break down that miniscule moment into a system and it's so amazing. It is almost like I am trying to remember and gain that satisfaction through them. Why must we love when it's too late and gone?
I wouldn't say love something out of fear of losing it, because fear only holds you back, but love it because you can. Most of the time we are not aware that we are living a special moment.
If you're not conscious, then you're not alive whether you have a body or not and ultimately it is about observing observation. Really think about what it is to "see", the essence of what it is like to be alive. With that, despite the enormity of my struggle, I've never felt more alive and never have asked as much from life as I do now.
Please enjoy all the little things. Bask in them. Ridiculously relish in them even if it is a blade of nature in between your toes. Use it. Live it. Love it.