When you are sighted, there is usually no guessing or wondering what is in front of you, and, in fact, all around you. Unless, that is, if you are jumping out of a capsule that is over 24 miles up in space.
Last Sunday, there was a record-setting jump from space. This was accomplished by the Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner.
When I heard and then read about it, my first thought was, “Is he crazy?” Let’s face facts here. I am blind. That is to say, I’ve lost all useable vision but for light and shadows. So I thought about what Felix was doing. I realized that what he set out to do was what we blind folk do every day.
Okay, we don’t jump out of airplanes, or capsules that are miles above the earth. But there is still something that we have in common with Felix. That is, stepping into the unknown.
When he stepped out into the air and began his free fall, where he would land or if he would step down safely was not known to him until it happened. it took several minutes for him to know the result of that first step. When I take a step, I also don’t know if it will be a safe one until my foot lands.
Felix had his parachute, which insured that he wouldn’t free fall straight to earth but would land smoothly. But he still didn’t know for sure if his landing would be a safe one until the moment he touched down. When I walk with my white cane, it helps to insure that my next step will be a safe one, but because I can’t see what is ahead of me, it is still like that free-fall. Not from so very high up, of course. After all, I’m not crazy!
How do you feel as you are walking along? Do you agree that each step is like that free fall? Let me know with your comments below.