Joe and I got up early to cut up watermelon and to assemble it into a Watermelon and Tomato salad. I was attending a team meeting in the park, a pot luck, and we were hoping to get there in time to find a table for the group. We found the perfect spot. But. It wasn't. The sun was too strong and soon we were frying. Joe spotted a table way over under some trees.
Soon the table was claimed and then Joe and I headed over to join folks. I was in my manual chair and it was really hard to manoeuvre over the grass and soft ground. We're fairly experienced in this kind of thing so we used a strategy that typically works. We turned the chair around and went backwards. That way the big wheels were able to get through and over and past. It was a fairly long way and though I helped as much as I could, it was a hard pull for Joe. I could hear him puffing as he worked to get me where I was going.
Once there we turned the chair around, I swung the footrests over and pulled into the end of the picnic table. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we strategized, we shared ideas, we enjoyed the day, each other's company and as a result we accomplished what we set out to do.
It was lovely.
The food was awesome.
Everyone needs to experience pavlova in a park.
Afterwards I met with a smaller group as we had a few things that we needed to clear up so that we could move forward with clarity.Again, the setting made it all easier. Again, work got done and relationships got built.
But, that's not what I wanted to write about. That's just the backdrop.
After we got in the car, I leaned back in my seat and just luxuriated in the feelings that came from sitting in a park, with a group of people, under the trees, on a warm day, sharing food. My wheelchair isn't suited to getting to where I wanted to go. The tires dig in too deeply, the terrain has a thousand and one little barriers.
But I had more than tires.
I had Joe pulling me along, taking big breaths of air as we worked together to get to where we were going.
I felt grass under my feet.
I felt shade on my shoulders.
I felt completely included.
But more ...
I felt lucky.
For having wheels.
And having someone to help me along.