Another day of rain which is just fine. The rain and temperature beats the crap out of the snow and the -30 (or worse) Celsius temperatures hammering the east.
It has been raining so hard here today that the rain is bouncing back up a good four or five feet. I know it is that high since it is bouncing back onto my face. Sitting in my wheelchair puts my head exactly four feet off the ground and my low grade OCD encouraged me to use the tape measure to check the height. Rain provides it’s own conflicting challenges but I have never been one to let a good challenge get in my way.
I say conflicting because I enjoy the rain, not monsoon like rain but rain in general. There is something very refreshing and meditative for me in a good rain fall. The down side, needless to say, is getting very wet. Even using my car can get me soaked. Transferring from a wheelchair into my car then packing up my chair is not a “quick as a bunny” event. It takes a couple of minutes and if it is raining hard, as is the case right now, you can be pretty wet even before you start your day. But hey life goes on and you do what you have to. Isn’t that the truth of life in general? There may be conflicts but you don’t ever stop.
Rain or shine I always wear gloves. Gloves to me are like shoes to most people. I can’t step over those puddles so I want something on my hands. Plus, it has been my experience that not everybody picks up after their dogs so you never know if you will wind up wheeling through something you shouldn’t. I do keep a close eye on the walkway but you can’t spend your life staring at the ground. You can miss the majesty of the world around you by looking down all the time.
I find the Giro Sports Design fingerless cycling gloves fit my needs best. They are more affordable than many (not the cheapest but the cheapest wear out in a month) and they have the closest fit to what their actual size states. I have large hands. The fingerless makes it easier for fine motor activities while not being an impediment that keeps me from getting my hand firmly around the push rim of my wheel. I don’t wear them for warmth, I wear them for a cleanliness and grip. Your rims can get a little slippery when your hands are wet so gloves contribute to brake control. Unfortunately they are not water proof and no matter how you approach it they still get soaked. When gloves get wet they are harder to get off when wet but by having them sized properly they are easier to get off.
There is also something very refreshing about a good rain, both symbolically and physically. Symbolically water, or rain in this situation, is an Elemental and is usually associated with cleansing or renewal. I see rain as a sign of refreshing something symbolically in my life, even when it is just a little thing. Today it meant picking up a few groceries so the renewal was putting some food in the fridge.
Water is also symbolic of adaptability, a skill that cannot be understated when living life in a wheelchair or with any number of other life altering challenges. The symbolism of water is used to set the mood for many movies. The amount of falling water used in the trilogy “The Matrix” really set the tone for those movies and that’s only one example. Symbolism is important to me and we see the subtle affects of it all around us. Marketers base whole advertising campaigns on symbolism rather than product. The Kegs marketing strategy for years has been “sell the sizzle, not the steak”.
Conflict can be good. It helps move us forward when used properly. Unfortunately we are living in a world where conflict is too closely aligned to negativity and in many ways justifiably so. Conflict only has to be as negative as we make it. I use conflict everyday when it comes to #access in the built environment. Using conflict I am able to raise awareness of the powers that be why access requires planning not just policy. Conflict does not have to be about anger but it should be able to demonstrate positive results.
Enjoy the poem!
The Conflict of Nature
The warmth of the sun on the cold mountain snow,
A conflict created through which new life will grow,
This is the way of this place we call earth,
Seasonal affects to give the world worth.
Through time eternal the balance has grown,
The cycle of nature is all we have known.
Now the vanity of man claims we can do better,
Cut down the forests, make the desert wetter.
That life giving balance that had worked for so long,
The arrogance of man will make it all wrong.
We threw off the balance that existed in nature,
By denying the knowledge we are earth’s creature.
Terry Wiens – Jan 2005