“Do you have anything in particular that you would like to do today, Mr. Aveugle?” I asked.
“Would you mind driving me through the mountains? They are so beautiful this time of year.”
“I didn’t think you would enjoy a drive.”
“I’ve been looking forward to it all week.”
“Great, let’s go then.”
“I love the crisp mountain air. It is so fresh and relaxing. The pine fragrance reawakens my senses. Stop the car. I want to feel the cool mist from the waterfall. Isn’t it gorgeous? I could feel the spray all the way to the car. Listen to the wind whispering through the tree tops; such a gentle touch and so relaxing. Oh, what a beautiful rhapsody the birds are creating. Can you hear it? The crickets and frogs are joining in. Smell that wintergreen. Here, chew on this. Isn’t it good? Stand still and be quiet for a moment. I want to see if I can hear the rattle snakes. They are drawn to the moisture of the falls. Yes, yes. Can you hear it? Be careful, the snake is just to your right. Don’t get too close!”
I froze in my tracks. I hadn’t heard the snake and I still didn’t see it.
“Take it easy,” Mr. Aveugle coaxed. Just take a couple of steps backward, and then go to the left towards the car. He’s still relaxed and not feeling threatened. His rattle is just a warning rattle letting you know that he’s there. He’s not going to strike. I’ll just follow your footsteps back to the car.”
“How did you know I was scared, Mr. Aveugle?”
“I could hear your breathing change, and I felt you quit walking. You need to learn to keep your ears, and your eyes open. You will see much better that way.”
“Mr. Aveugle,” I asked, “How is it that you are enjoying this drive so much? I thought I would have to describe everything to you, but you are seeing much more than I am. You are blind. How can this be?”
“I may not be able to see, but my other senses compensate for my lack of sight. I’ve never seen colour though. Can you describe it to me?”
“Think about the wind, Mr. Aveugle. Hurricane force winds are very pronounced; they are vicious, and they give off an ominous energy. That is like the colour red. When the wind calms, you can feel the change. The intense energy recedes and the atmosphere is more relaxed. That’s the colour orange. The sun is yellow. Imagine the warmth and energy you feel when the hurricane is over and the sun shines on you. That’s yellow. Think of a gentle wind lazily blowing through the grass, causing it to rustle and tickle your leg. That’s green. It wants to be quietly present, but noticed. On a windless day a lake is as smooth as glass. You can look into it and see your reflection, or you can stand by it and feel the stillness. That’s what blue is like. It’s a calm colour and encourages you to relax and reflect. Imagine being totally at ease and in tune with your innermost being. That is the colour violet. There are thousands of colour combinations, and as the eye observes them, our senses are stirred; just like yours are when you hear the wind, or feel the mist of the waterfall.”
“Hmm,” said Mr. Aveugle. “I don’t think I’ll ever see the colours the way you do. However, my world is full of a different kind of colour.
“You’re right. After being with you today all the colours are more vibrant and exciting, because now I am listening and feeling, touching and even tasting. That wintergreen leaf was amazing.
“Next time we’re together, I’ll give you a tour of my garden. I’ve filled it with fragrant and aromatic flowers, and fruits. Have you ever felt lambs ears or borage leaves? You’ll enjoy that. I have a wonderful herb garden. Wait until you smell the rosemary and basil. It’s just heavenly. The fresh dill is delicious. Perhaps we could enjoy some lunch in the garden.”
“Oh, Mr. Aveugle, it sounds like paradise. I can’t wait until next week.
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