It was a working chair, that much was obvious. It rested against the side of a barn on a ranch somewhere between Princeton and 100 Mile House. We drove that stretch last night and were awed, constantly, by the beauty and the ruggedness of the land. The road was clear and dry but the fields were covered with snow with patches of dried, brown grass poking through. I noticed the chair because it glinted in the low dull light of early evening. As we passed I looked carefully and saw a chair, mud and straw packed on the wheels and a well worn seat and back. The wheels didn't have spokes like mine, and the seat was much smaller than mine with a cutdown back. Designed by years of use I'd guess.
I only saw it for a second when we passed, but I liked it being there. I liked it resting easy against the weathered barnboard. I liked the casualness of it's angle as it paused, waiting like a faithful dog for it's master's return. In all this ruggedness. In a land of mountain peaks and jagged rocks, in a place of desolation and coyotes, in an environment adapted by nature for no-one, it oddly, seemed right at home. I would never have imagined seeing it there, but wasn't surprised that it was. We are, after all, everywhere. A chair may simply be a devise that enables but it also, like it was now, a symbol of existance - of presence - of "I'm here now".
A few miles later on we saw a man off in the distance on horseback riding back in the direction of the barn. I couldn't help but wonder if this was the guy who owned the chair. It's impossible to ever really know, but there was little life on this stretch of road, and he was heading back twoards the chair. He wore a cowboy hat, only cowboys should wear cowboy hats, and a denim jacket with a fleece collar. And he looked free.
Even without the chair, I liked seeing him there. But I liked it more, the idea of his chair waiting to take him where his horse couldn't. I liked the sheer audacity of the idea that disability doesn't cripple. That disability doesn't shy away from land that needs to be lived with, not conquered or tamed. That limits are simply mistaken ideas.
There was a chair resting against a barn. And my mind, suddenly, was freer.