Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank God for Seven Year Olds

Sometimes, I find myself seeking out humbling experiences. If I feel dangerously complacent, I get antsy. If I am not feeling deeply and intensely – good and bad alike, I pause to ponder why. I am passionate about growth and if I suspect that I am stagnating, I worry. Since my schedule has calmed down a little bit (Spanish lessons ended last night), I am making room for volunteering again. I took a little break since my last trip (and since The Little Guy dropped out), and now I am back in a different school and with a fresh room of seven year old faces full of wonder, mischief and curiosity. There is not very many places I would rather be on my lunch hour on a Thursday.

I was in the hallway waiting for the principal so she can give me instructions about which class I’m supposed to help out for the rest of the school year. I was keeping myself entertained by watching the traffic coming and going to and from the clinic. I found myself watching a little girl who must have been seven years old. She had a round face, light brown hair, and the clearest eyes I have ever seen. She left the clinic with a jump in her step and a big smile lighting up her face. She grinned in my direction and I smiled back and waved hello. I kept watching her and only then noticed that she had a walking stick. An older woman was trailing her talking to her in a soothing voice.

It took me a few seconds to realize that the little girl is blind. The woman behind her was coaching her how to use her walking stick to navigate the school hallway and open doors.

That sight pierced through my heart. I wanted to lock myself up in a bathroom stall and weep for hours. I want to weep for her and for everything that she will never see or experience because she has been denied the gift of eyesight. But I also want to weep for myself for everything that I will never see or experience because I will never transcend the physical sense of sight.

We take so many things for granted. Such is the human condition, they keep telling us. But everyday miracles are all around us if we step out of ourselves. The little girl is my biggest blessing of the day (there were many more - being greeted by a class of 15 seven year olds: "Welcome, Miss Sebastian!!!" was a close second). The days when I worry that I might have started to freeze up again, she comes along and makes me feel the tenderness and openness all over again.


No comments:

Post a Comment