A little story I wrote years ago, illustrating what it felt like in those times shortly after becoming a quadriplegic.
Imagine that every new skill that we acquire is recorded on our own personal chalkboard.
My chalkboard is nearly covered in writing as I study the top line.
“Rode a bike!”
As I glance at the words the image of a warm summer’s day floods my mind. A gentle breeze is blowing; the smell of freshly cut lawn permeates the air. I’m sitting precariously on a shiny new bicycle, pointed down the paved driveway that slopes gently towards the road in front of our house. There are already a few fresh scrapes on my knees, torn jeans, and a sense of excitement as I anticipate the next run down the lane. A quick push from my mother and away I go, wobbling and swerving as I concentrate on learning the correct moves to tame the beast. Success! A complete run down the driveway is made.
|Fishing with my brother, loved it since an early age.|
|The "New" Holiday Rambler and Travelall,|
many adventures took place in here!
I scan the board farther down and noticed in an adolescent’s writing: “ Fishing”. As my gaze stops on the words, I feel the world around me fade away and suddenly I’m standing in the front yard of our family’s house in a large city. It’s early June, I’m ten years old, and the weather is warm and sunny. Behind me sits our summer home on wheels, a 1969 Holiday Rambler proudly affixed to the rear of an old but eager army-green 1962 International Travelall. The unit patiently awaits our next escape from the city, complete with bikes on the front, and canoe on the roof. Gripped tightly in my right hand is a fly rod, released from its winter prison inside the camper trailer. Under my right elbow is a book held tightly against my body to teach me to cast using forearm movement only. “10 o’clock … 2 o’clock”, I repeat as I practice false casts over and over, until no more cracking of the whip is heard. I learn to drop the fly (a split shot weight) into any one of the number of ice-cream-pails placed around the yard. All the while I daydream of pristine mountain lakes teeming with trout to be conquered in two weeks time.