Friday, April 19, 2013

Blind Adventure

In the course of day to day events, getting to work in a familiar town hardly seems an adventure. Of course if you are blind anything can become an adventure.

Yesterday, my work day started late, 11am rather than my usual 8am this was because I now teach a class at night on Thursday so work later.

It was a nice morning, still cool at 9am so I thought there would be nothing better than to go to Starbuck's for a coffee before cutting back to work.

Leaving just after 9.30am I followed a now familiar route towards downtown. Small towns are great places, everything is very much within walking distance. I walk a good pace and all was going to plan until I reached an unfamiliar piece of sidewalk.

There has been some new building in town, sidewalks have been laid in new parts of town and old broken sidewalks have been replaced. It is surprising what confussion a new piece of sidewalk can cause when you can't really see where you are.

All my instincts were telling me that I really knew where I was. All I needed to do was follow my plan and keep going towards my right. But you know that little voice inside? The little voice that says no, don't trust your gut feeling. You're lost.

Well that little voice made its way into my brain. The plan of the town I had created in my mind was wrong. No-one on the street to ask, and buildings seeming unfamiliar. I was lost.

To cap it all, I could not get my phone to work, the screen blanked out in the bright sunshine. I wish smart phones had buttons and not touch screens.

I plodded on. Walking in a series of left and right turns, hoping to come across a familiar place.

Then suddenly I recognized where I was. Happily for me my town only has three sets of traffic lights in the town itself. and I was stood next to one of them. I had somehow crossed and recrossed the main road through town. Traffic must have been unusually quiet and I was lucky to not get hit by a car or truck.

Knowing where I was I made my way to Starbucks anyway. Then with my coffee cup in my bag I headed for work.

On the walk back I looked at the buildings that I could see more closely. At the very point where I had surrendered myself to that little doubting voice and turned left, I had walked just thirty paces from Starbucks.

Having got lost once I most probably won't get lost at that place again.

But the little adventure was an experience. Just another experience in a life of many adventures.