Experiencing trauma changes the way you look at the world. Sometimes the changes are extreme, sometimes subtle. Years ago I damaged my spinal cord and it changed my life and the lives of my family completely. (You can read more in “about” me.) Recently I have been reflecting on what has inspired and motivated me over the years. This has been prompted by my youngest “fledgling” leaving the nest. I have realised that I think in metaphors involving the sky, flying, looking upwards and so on. The English language and literature makes much use of these metaphors. We reach for the stars; we look up for inspiration; when we are achieving we speak of flying – we want our children to reach their potential, we want them to have wings and fly; “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”; “though we are on earth we can touch the sky with our determination”. When we look up to the sky we see infinity and we are reminded that we are a tiny part of something much bigger than ourselves.
I spend much of my time looking down at the ground, putting one foot and one crutch in front of the other. Without proprioception I have no idea where my feet are so I look at the ground to see where I am and to keep myself upright. Perhaps because I spend so much time with my physical senses connected to the ground, I let my thoughts soar to the infinity of the sky and what the human spirit can achieve with determination and the support of others. Urging my children to dream and to turn those dreams into reality, has inspired me to keep dreaming. Hence. “Look Up At The Sky”.
My daughter leaving home means that my best friend is no longer with me almost every day, but how can I stay sad as I watch her fly, knowing that she has all the talent, skill and confidence to build a wonderful life, just as her brothers are.