Learning to Fly

I was about 18 when I got my first driving lesson. I am pretty sure my mind deliberately skipped the process and focused on the ‘end game.’ I was exhilarated knowing that one day I would have the chance to get out on my own, in control of a ‘machine’ unsupervised and ultimately join the adult universe.

When I finally did, the feeling was incomparable. Also, I had wild and free natural hair so with windows down, that wind through the hair effect was massively felt: D

I learnt soon after that I got a huge adrenaline rush from speed.  I also discovered that unless I know my driver well, I am bound to be hitting imaginary brakes whether I am in the front seat of a comfortable luxury car or the back of a stifling bus.

My patience was heavily tested this one time on the way from Gulu when the driver decided to give us a free late night show. “How to react when faced with a near-death experience.” Had I not been too busy saying one prayer after another, I am sure I would have walked up to him and…Wait. What can you really do to such a person in that moment?

I have been thinking a lot about mobility lately. In another lifetime, perhaps I would consider learning to fly a plane. It would not be for commercial purposes I imagine. Maybe on a boring Saturday, the kids and I could fly to Mbale-just because we can 😉 Anyway, moving on..

In my mind’s eye, I see a toddler learning to walk. If only we could read his mind, would he be thinking “Freedom at last?” or perhaps “Thank goodness I don’t have to be carried all day.” (insert baby language)

It is a precious thing we often overlook really, to be able to get up, walk, run,  do things on your own-you know?

I know a brilliant gentleman who has been paralysed for over a decade now after sadly suffering a stroke. He was soaring high, tremendously successful in his career when it happened.

He has had to re-learn many seemingly ordinary actions and some, he hasn’t. Many of the things he has failed to do are because his soul gave in quicker than his body after that experience. A state of depression has overshadowed any progress he could have made.
Whereas, I can’t begin to grasp the extent of distress him and his family have had to experience- I think we can all relate to loss of someone-a bond-a career- a dream. Name it.

Can you imagine going blind after enjoying sight for so many years? The torture of losing a limb or two and having to watch people take care of you as if you are a child all over again?  This after you were an athlete and your limbs were what you believed defined you? To lose your memory of the things you loved and people you adored? It is utterly terrible

“Fly without wings;
Dream with open eyes;
See in darkness.”

I have to get  used to using only one of my hands for a few days. I decided to think of it as walking a few metres in the shoes of someone who deals with this on a daily (a mile would be quite inaccurate)

My respect for people with disabilities who beat all odds to go on with their lives even when our systems don’t always provide the resources they need keeps increasing.

I recently watched a piece on NTV News about this boy who is sitting for  Uganda Certificate of Education (U.C.E) exams. He is unique because he will be writing with his foot. I was amazed by the beauty of his handwriting but mostly his determination!

He will not be given extra time and shall be expected to finish the examination like everyone else, after 3 hours. He was shown doing other things with his feet, like eating, sipping a soda and using a phone. My heart warmed up in all kinds of ways!

I will certainly be rooting for him!

If you are stuck in a rut or failing to move from one place, it happens.

Take two extra steps daily in preparation for that race. You will soon find that, you will be ready to fly 🙂

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”



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