Thursday, November 19, 2009

Going to the Zoo

Ever since my long illness last winter, I have struggled with limited mobility. I can walk, with a cane, but not very far. I can walk with a walker a little further, because it lets me sit down frequently to rest.

But long walks, trips to the mall, for example, are just out of my range for now.

My darling husband realizes how frustrating this limitation is, and tries to find ways to compensate. He got me an electric wheel chair, but it is large and hard to load, and impossible right now with his right arm in a splint and sling.

So he found me one of those lightweight electric scooters. He struggles to load it one-armed, but it is surprising how often someone volunteers to help with loading and unloading.

A couple of weeks ago, on a beautiful fall day, we took my little red scooter and went to the zoo with Jeana and her children.

Since they are homeschooling, we got to go on a Tuesday, when most kids are sitting in a classroom, instead of roaming the zoo, laughing at the monkeys, and racing up and down the ramps.

We had a picnic, sat in the sun and soaked up its late-fall warmth, picked up the reddest leaves I have ever seen...soft and supple still, a vivid russet red that seemed to glow like an ember in my hand, holding within itself the promise of winter and of the renewal of life in the spring.

Our grandchildren took turns walking along with me, talking about everything we saw, and expressing pride in me for coming along on their adventure, even though I had to do it on my little red scooter.

Wick and I "walked" along together, me able to keep up with his long strides, and laughingly lamenting that we can't hold hands as we stroll--I because I need to steer the scooter, and he because he has his right arm in a splint--closest thing to a normal walk in a long, long time.

Life is full of simple pleasures, things for which to be thankful. On this day, I realized it in the moment, instead of days or years later.

Life is a gift. Love is a gift. I am blessed to have both.