So many times we can never understand something until we literally walk in someone's shoes ourselves. What would your life be like if you could never see the things we take for granted every single day, the sunsets, the faces of our children or husband, the beauty of the flowers in the gardens? How would your life change?
"Through the antenna of my senses I reconstitute the simple but essential daily joy of being alive. As dog and master quietly sneak their way out of the room and go downstairs without disturbing the sleeping woman. The coffee pot is on a timer, and that first taste of joe is as delicious to this morning runner as a complex burgundy. With the dog's harness and leash in place and my running shoes on, we step outside to assess the morning. My nose defines the weather report. June gloom, it tells me. The fog is in. Probably won't life until early afternoon. There is a pervasive moisture in the air, but rain is unlikely at this time of the year.
Hey, what's that? Somebody cut their grass yesterday, and Mrs. Martin's early-season roses have just begun to open. I hear the whack as the paperboy - maybe the last of his breed - throws papers from a bike as he passes by and I call out a morning hello.
Just before we leave the house my voice-actuated clock tells me that it is 5:15, so I know that it's still more dark than light. No problem; Edison guides me perfectly. His senses are far more capable than mine. He pauses at curbs as we move through the neighborhood and easily traverses around garbage cans and other objects, never failing to notice any loose, wet leaves that just might cause his master to slip or fall. In all of his concentration he is completely focused on our mutual goal.
We move down a long hill, our pace quickening almost a sprint, and reach the top of a cliff, finding the path that will take us down onto the sand, and we hear it - the rhythmic pulsation of the Pacific's surf as it rolls onto the land. I stand, for a moment transfixed by the sound, counting the seconds of the wave's intervals. Today they are at nine seconds between the breakers. That means low tide - perfect for running. The roar is like a cannonade in a war zone as sand and surf compete for their place on God's terra firma.
At high tide, the sound is very different. Outgoing sand jousts with incoming waves like two great heavyweights in a championship fight. The punch is dull but devastating, thudding into the body of the land. Tidal change, weather conditions, curvature of the earth, and the capricious nature of the sea have actually created fifteen different kinds of waves I'm blessed to listen to and understand, though their differences can often be subtle. But if you listen - ah, if you listen - their various signatures will be clear." (pg 18-19).
In the book, As I See It by Tom Sullivan, the bestselling author teaches us sighted readers, the way he sees his life. Not as a label but as a privilege to view his world in a way that is so much different than the one we see everyday. He shows the reader that he has such an appreciation for the things we take for granted every single day, the beauty in the sunsets, the vibrant colors of the rainbows, the sight of a beautiful blooming rose, and shows us how we can appreciate them in new ways through his biography. Tom has been born blind, so he hasn't had the opportunity to see the things he so beautifully describes in his book. How much courage he possesses to try new things most of us have no excuse not to try, like skiing or bungee jumping, he truly inspires you in ways you never imagined until reading this book!
I received As I See It by Tom Sullivan, compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review. If you feel like life has become routine and dull, lacking in newness, then this would be a perfect book for you to read. Just spending time in the first few chapters, has given me such encouragement to put some of my old fears to rest and take a dive into trying new challenges in a new light. This one truly is an inspirational read and easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars.
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Publisher: Howard Books, September 2012
Formats: eBook, 208 pages