The Gift of Sight

"Girl on the Boat"  by William Oxer


Linking with Poets United for the Mid Week Motif ~ Charity, and The Sunday Muse for Muse # 19



The Brain – is wider than the Sky 
~Emily Dickinson



The first time I saw her it was at the Smith’s Cafe 2 miles from the marina.  It took me 3 texts, two eggs over easy, and most of my coffee before I realized she was blind.  She reached out and was touching the face of the man beside her, who I thought must have been a husband or dear friend.  At first I thought it was a moment of endearment but when she rose to walk away I realized her eyes looked passed him like head lights on high beam reaching to the farthest point.  Her hand rested on his shoulder as she followed his lead around the tables and out the door so trustingly like it was a dance she had done a million times before.  The vision of it was imprinted on my heart.  I could never trust another person that way.


The second time I saw her was at the botanic gardens.  She had a white cane, and seemed to know exactly where she was going down those stone walk way steps.  I found myself following her in fascination.  She had more confidence in her steps than I ever have.  How could someone with such limits be so sure and determined on their path?  I stayed behind her all the way to Dove Meadow Lake.   For a while I felt incline to stop her.  Did she not realize she was heading to open waters?  To my astonishment she made it all the way to the dock.  “Mam, excuse me Mam?” I called out with a certain urgency.  She stopped slowly like a long train.  “Charity”, she spoke out.  “Charity?” I recited back, not sure what she was implying.  “Charity Johnson” she added, “My name is Charity!” “Oh hi Charity I just wanted to make sure you did not step off into the water.”  “God has my back, and my ears have my eyes, but thank you” she said with a deliberate politeness.  As she spoke the words she also stepped into the boat at the end of the dock.



 All the while I had followed closer and closer behind her, and almost lost my composure when she got right into the boat like it was a common task in her day.  I stood by the lake for a while, bewildered and silent, when suddenly her voice called out, “would you like to join me?”  “In the boat?” I asked, certain it sounded even worse spoken out loud.  “Of course” she replied with a smile that I could almost hear.  “Ok”, was my final answer as I carefully stepped down beside her, and for the rest of the afternoon I was her eyes, and truly she was also mine! 


©Carrie Van Horn 2019

Comments

Sherry Marr said…
WOW! What a spectacular
poem
story
and woman!

I love this SO MUCH! Thank you for telling us this story of trust - and Charity. Smiles.
Susan said…
"trustingly like it was a dance she had done a million times before."
Oh, yes, walking with God and Grace is a powerful thing. I hope it's a true story--it's that good. Enter this poem in a flash fiction contest?
Old Egg said…
It is amazing that the blind Charity was giving so much to the narrator when the narrator was trying to give so much to her. I often chat with a lady with only one arm which she lost as a child, and clearly one arm is all she needs!
What a beautiful piece of writing this is.
Sumana Roy said…
You simply pulled me into story. Love the ambiance all around. So beautiful, so beautiful......
Kim Russell said…
An amazing and touching story, Carrie, which had me mesmerised. There are some beautiful phrases in this piece, such as: 'her eyes looked passed him like head lights on high beam reaching to the farthest point' and 'she replied with a smile that I could almost hear'.
Thotpurge said…
A fabulous story and it completely resonates with the experience I had being shown by an amazing woman how the visually challenged use the computer... was both humbled and inspired.
rallentanda said…
Great story.Very humbling
annell said…
Yes, I am reminded there are certain handicaps, that we recognize at once, yet often we do not see our own. A wonderful story.
Susie Clevenger said…
Trust is not any easy thing to have or give, but once you are joined in it it is an amazing journey. Such a beautiful story... so many lessons in it.