“I love the free in thee, my bird,
The lure of freedom drew;
The light you fly toward, my bird,
I fly with thee unto.”
~George William Russell
To those of you that have never known the feeling of being trapped, I envy you. To be able to walk where you please, do what you wish and be whomever you wish to be. I have always been bound by a shackle around my ankles, binding me to the floor. Not an actual bind but one just as heavy and soul-shattering. Growing up as a blind girl in a small town is South Georgia, there was no one who did not know your name and know what was wrong with you. The towns was small enough that there was only one high school. My graduating class probably numbered fifty, to give you an idea of the size. I was “that poor little blind girl with the weird parents” or “shouldn’t that poor dear just stay home” which is eventually what happened. After several very poor experiences at the local public school, my mother pulled me and homeschooled me. I very rarely left the house, never truly learning of the world except from my books. I would sit in my bedroom with the windows open and the breeze blowing across my skin, bringing me the smells of the seasons. In the spring I’d smell the magnolia blossoms as they started to bloom, in summer the scent of rain filled the air almost everyday, autumn brought the scent of crisp leaves and winter…well winter brought the chill and the smell of time pausing, life ending and being back. I longed to join the voices that carried on the wind, the laughter and joy.
I eventually broke those chains and journeyed on in life, leaving Georgia to go North to a good university that had facilities that could aid me in my pursuit of knowledge. I ate up each experience, cherishing both the good and the bad as something new. I excelled in my classes and soon graduated when the chains of fate came back for me and latched upon my wrists again. My mother passed of cancer while I was in school and my father needed me, so I went back. I returned to that little Georgia town and helped take care of my father until he got his feet back under him. That’s when my journey truly took off, eventually leading me here. This is the first time that I’ve truly lived without chains on me. I’ve had drunken girl’s night with two women that, if I had had sisters, I hoped they would be like them. Giada and Astrid, thank you ladies for the hilarious night, though the hangover when I woke up was one of the most miserable things I’ve ever felt.
I sat on the swings in the park yesterday for hours, just swinging and feeling the wind in my hair and my loyal guide in my lap. We swung in silence, needing no noise or company besides from ourselves. Eventually the wolves that run around the forested areas in the vicinity started to call to each other, their howls almost sounding mournful and joyful at the same time. I wish I could run free like them, to know no limitations and just merely be free. I wish I could see all that they could, could experience all the life that they do, but alas I am who I am and there is no changing that. I am Valene SilverPard, blind fortuneteller, daughter of Giovanni and Joyce SilverPard, the girl in the window and there are people that cherish that.