It was dark and cold when I boarded the WheelTrans van. My wheelchair was locked into place and I was strapped into the seat at the back. The driver, a fellow I've had before, wished me a good new years and told me that we had one stop to pick up one person before we'd head up to my office. We chatted for a few seconds and then fell silent.
I actually enjoy these trips, I watch the city slip by in the quiet of the morning. I had much to think about so I occupied my time with thoughts and imaginings. We finally pulled into a driveway and the driver got out. He assisted a very elderly man across to the front passenger seat and then carefully helped him in. Behind him I saw the door open again and a woman came out locking the door behind her.
When the driver saw her he said, "Only one fare was booked." The woman explained that they were going to a medical appointment and that it was important that she go with her husband. She set herself ready to be told that she couldn't go because they hadn't booked the trip properly. Her feet were firmly planted and you could see the argument being formed in her mind.
The driver simply said, "I don't know how to make room."
There was room on the seat next to me but my wheelchair, which is quite long, was strapped down in front of it. He came to the side door to look. When he openned the door, I said, "If you fold the wheelchair footrests back, you can slide the chair in front of me and that will free up this seat."
He nodded and said, "And if I move these straps to the back, then there will be nothing obstructing the path." We set about doing these two things. In a few minutes space was made and she climbed on board. The driver got in and the man sitting beside him, obviously relieved that everything had gone smoothly, turned with tears in his eyes and said thankyou.
The driver smiled and said, "When the heart’s not small, all things are possible."
I thought of that the whole rest of the drive. We dropped the couple off, and again the driver gently helped them get from slippery pavement to clean and dry. Only a few minutes later, I was at my desk jotting down these words: When the heart’s not small, all things are possible.
They were the perfect words to begin my first day in the new year. I hope they influence me for the rest of my life.