I took off for a bike ride to town today. Wanting to get in atleast one last bike ride before the weather turns into ice and snow and its no longer possible to ride to town. It didn’t take too long to get in, but once I got to town, I started seeing something I hadn’t ever seen before, and Im not sure why.
A man with no legs smiled as he drove his wheelchair down the sidewalk. I smiled back. Ive seen him before, his license plate proudly states that he is a veteran. And while I don’t really usually think twice about those kind of things, today I kind of stopped to think, and wonder.
What makes him smile?
But I continued on, and while waiting for my stack of bills to be processed, I saw a man walk out of the company across the hall. The woman held the door for him, as he stumbled out. As he did, he laughed. He paused, said a few words to her, she smiled, they laughed together, and he struggled out. He had two arm crutches, as he relied upon them to get him a few feet, his phone rang. I watched as he leaned, balancing his entire body weight on one crutch, holding it for dear life. And while his hand held the strength his legs didn’t have, he laughed on the phone. Carrying on an everyday conversation.
Then another man, with two canes. Hobbled across the floor.
Neither one were that old.
And in an instant, I realized something. I don’t think I have ever been grateful for my legs. My legs that not only support my body, and run when I tell them to run. My legs that I so often, dislike because of their shapes, or size, or pasty whiteness. My legs that peddled me to town. And back home again. And will be there to support me when I jump out of bed without a second thought.
I am thankful.
To have my legs.
I am thankful that I can ride my bike, and run when I want.
Those three people I saw today, smiled and laughed like there was not another care in the world. Yet I complain and bicker, and argue, and get upset – over stupid silly things. Im not saying that they don’t have bad days, and I don’t even know what they think, or who they are. But what I saw, was three people, without legs that worked properly – smiling and laughing.
And myself. With two very good legs, who had just done a 6+ mile bike ride – sour about the events of the day.
So today, among other things, I am thankful.
If for nothing else, I am thankful for my legs.