I wrote yesterday that blind people in movies and television are often portrayed as having super powers, or at least having their other senses heightened because of their blindness. This, of course, is not the case. Blind people are perfectly normal – normal hearing, normal sense of smell, normal abilities. Blindness does not heighten the senses. I was thinking about this, and I realized that there IS something that has the ability to heighten anyone’s senses. Gratitude. When I take the time to be mindful and be grateful, my senses can be heightened for that moment.
Yesterday, my neighbor was cutting his lawn. I caught the smell of the fresh-cut grass. Taking a moment to breathe in deeply, grateful for this smell that evokes summertime, I felt my sense of smell take on super powers. The smell of cut grass mingled with spring flowering trees filled my entire being.
Having spent a lot of time in the last four days on the couch with my head down, I have appreciated the company of my three little dogs. They have piled on me and around me. Reaching over and petting them has been calming and soothing. I have had the time to become fully aware of the blessing that their presence is to me. I have a heightened awareness of their softness, their warmth. I am so grateful for their softness to keep me company. My gratitude gives my sense of touch super power.
Unlike Eli in The Book of Eli, my hearing isn’t so heightened that I could aim knives and guns at people. It is, however, heightened by my gratitude and love for my family. Last night, I heard my son, Sam, singing in the upstairs hallway. Lying on the couch with my head down, the sound of his singing lifted my spirits. My gratitude for his beautiful voice gave my hearing the super power to allow my soul to soar, even though my body was stuck on the couch.
My (temporary) blindness does not heighten my other senses in the way often portrayed in the media. But my journey into low vision has heightened them in an unexpected way. My low vision has made me mindful of the simple smells and sounds around me and this has made me very grateful for the blessings in my life. It is this gratitude that has heightened my senses. Gratitude is my Super Power.