Numbness

As I sat in a bench in the park to rest a little after a long walk. There was a nice gentlemen sitting there already so I said a typical: “good morning” and let my body heavily fall on the bench.

That gentleman cheerfully answered to my good morning and asked me if I had a good walk. Without paying much attention I answered that my walk had been fine but very long, I was exhausted but happy.

He told me that he felt happy that roses were beginning to bloom and that the smell of wet soil and freshly cut grass made his day.

Actually I haven’t noticed the new roses and until that very moment the piles of trimmed grass near the trail had passed unnoticed to me.  I felt a little ashamed for my lack of attention.

He commented on the wonderful weather we were having that day but that he was sure rain would appear in the next days. Every comment he made showed how intensely he enjoyed life in general. He paid a lot of attention to little details that frankly escaped from my attention making me realise how many things I was missing around me. Then he commented how happy he was about the band that offered a concert in the park the day before, I apologised because I hadn’t been there that day and at that very moment I noticed that the man was blind.

He had one of those folding canes by his side, his dark glasses hid his eyes and until I really put attention to his physical appearance I realised he was blind.

He noticed I have just realised of his blindness and smiling just said: “The fact I have no light in my eyes doesn’t mean I lack it in my heart”. I remained silent without knowing what to say.

He laughed loudly and excused himself for he had to go with some friends to the pub because they all loved rugby and specially commenting about it after the game.

I stayed there for a while feeling amazed of the sense of real “awareness” of that man.  Without seeing things he was much more aware of the things around us than me. Most things he mention I had not paid attention to. The smells, the sounds, the textures and the weather were things that no longer made an “impression” on my conscious mind anymore yet, he enjoyed the world more than I did.

Then it fell upon me that the real blind, deaf and indifferent man was me. Only me.

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