Choosing the miracle.


Life is sometimes a series of extravagant miracles; sometimes they only have meaning to you. Imagine what it feels like to be told you could be permanently disabled. A life bound to a chair, a life dependent on only taking short range walks. Imagine two years of being unable to walk, and then imagine today.

Three miracles.

This morning I went into town with my family, with no thought of being disabled, unable, or anything other than ordinary. The pleasure of waiting in line at the bank. The joy of waiting outside the health food shop, dancing on the pavement to the delight of my clapping and appreciative son and daughter. Casual walking through this street, to that store, across a bit of lawn.

And this evening, plugging music into my ears and choosing the direction that includes a hill, rough ground, space and peace.

Each step I take is a courageous choice to reclaim my life.

I’ve been told now it will be another three to four years before I recover, but this evening I chose to believe I could do it, to treat myself with compassion and love and trust.  I chose to give it a try.

I walked along the path that took me to work a couple of years ago. Down the road sparsely populated with houses hundreds of years old, extensive flowers lush and thick in their front gardens. I turned down a deserted lane, the hedge flashing green and red in alternate stripes as I walked along….and stopped to take pictures.

I got lost.

Even that was a pleasure, standing suddenly on the corner of a busy road and wondering where the hell I was and how I was supposed to get home. Cars whizzed by, I looked around, I chose the way I thought was right, and I walked.

I walked.

I walked.

My feet moved along the concrete, a breeze wafted across my face, and I moved of my own volition and will. This time last year I required gas & air, as well as morphine and a host of other drugs, just to get myself on or off the toilet – to or from the confining seat of a wheelchair. I had not freely walked for months and months and months, and I thought I would regain the ability quickly after giving birth.

Instead I was unable to walk at all, lying on the couch as my newborn babies lay on my tummy, on the floor, on playmats. Months went by and as they learned to move around the room, so did I. I took hesitant steps, hooked up to a TENS machine on full blast, tears streaming down my cheeks.

And now as they learn to walk with the help of my hands, as they learn to stand on their own, I echo their progress. They are brave, they take risks. They don’t realise things are impossible or a challenge – so they do it all, and they take joy in the learning. Growing is play to them.

Growing is play to me, too. Never again will I take for granted the simple and complex pleasure of walking. Of being alone on a country lane in the gloaming, pausing to watch a stream as it twists and turns. This is the miracle, in these gifts we have been given but forget to notice because they are just always there.

Maybe this is my gift – in having my legs taken away from me for two years, my life has been coloured with a richness and a gratitude I would not have had otherwise. Because as my children learn to walk, as they widen their lives into bigger and bigger circles, so do I.

I choose hope. I choose persistence. I choose to forgive myself when these choices seem too hard, because along come these moments of sweeping grandeur, alone on my feet, walking on the road.

Miracles can happen, but sometimes you need to help them along.


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3 Responses to “Choosing the miracle.”

  1. Natasha Says:


  2. catsandcradles Says:

    Just lovely. I am grateful for you. On your behalf, and that I get to read about it.

  3. Jenni Williams Says:

    Gorgeous. Love you to bits and I believe too.

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