misadventuresmag.com
First Impressions | Misadventures
I always thought losing my sight would be one of life's most cruel punishments. To wake up in darkness, to be a stranger to Earth's beauty, to forever miss the smiles on your mother/child/friend/lover's face. Without my glasses, life is a blur, and sometimes I fear the totality of permanent blindness. A few years ago, I met Sue on a desert backpacking trip I led for women with visual impairments. I remember her tiny frame exiting the van while she clutched her white cane with one hand. She was self-conscious of her new braces as a woman of 54, but nonetheless smiled as I greeted her and introduced myself as her guide. When we arrived to camp, she gently grasped my elbow as I familiarized her with the space: the bathroom, the kitchen and her tent. I tried my best to describe the vast desert valleys and green brush that surrounded us. I helped her set up her tent, pack her backpack and organize her food for our weeklong adventure. I figured the days ahead would be filled with endless