Trees to climb up
and hills to roll down.
But, not for me.
“It’s okay,” I tell my friends at school,
“You can go down and play in the field,”
and I stay up on the asphalt, spinning my wheels,
turning motorized circles
round and round,
only a little surprised that they left me.
Happy enough in my wheelchair, really,
the sun warm on my face,
the sky above, clear blue, quiet…
alone, with no one to bother my thoughts.
I even hum, smiling as I spin,
so no one will come pity play with me.
I could have made my life on the in side of doors,
man-made surfaces, smooth and safe,
adaptive equipment, digital displays – easy.
For this, however, I was not made.
My heart was created to explore the natural world,
God’s Wilderness Masterpiece,
the fragile and living, vast and gritty reality.
Encasing my limp, irregular body,
the machine I ride is hard. Precise.
Man’s physical triumph over physical weakness.
But… it cannot wind me up the oak
with grasping fingers and tender feet,
or kneel me on the moss
to lie in grass and buttercups,
or twine my hair with daisies.
My imagination is naturally necessary,
not as escape, but as a tool – a revelation.
For it’s wonder that ascends the trees
to radiant light and starry heights
and opens arms in prayer and ecstasy;
And marvel slides down snowy slopes,
as brisk as fear and fresh as hope;
While delight hikes up to lofty peaks;
Between the boulder and the brambles,
a loving mind will find the way.
And, so, the lonely, limited girl,
who could only pretend to twirl,
grew into a woman with worse limitations –
save for the gift of spinning golden thoughts,
cresting the mountain while still in the valley,
condensing into drops of rain and effervescing into stars…
loving the whole world behind her eyes.
© 2016 Christina Chase
Photo of me copyright 2019 Dan Chase
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.