So...Far...Away

sarahj's picture

This is my post that was due on Thursday.  I sprained my ankle this week and end up on crutches at the end of the week, so walking to my spot by Perry House became impossible.  Or, not impossible, but suddenly it involved a lot more energy on my part.  It became so much farther away even though the garden is still the exact same measured distance from my dorm. 

I live in Merion a very centrally located dorm which is a good part of its appeal to me.  But, when relegated to crutches, it seems a lot less appealing.  I remember walking from the health center back to Merion after being given the crutches and thinking that I would never make it back to my room.  That slightly inclined driveway by cartref became a mountain.  I was panting by the time I got to the road by Dalton.  My underarms were beginning to feel battered and bruised...later I would look to see deep red marks and splatters where I assume some of my veins had burst.  My good leg, my left leg, was burning and my arms were startng to shake from bearing so muc weight.  I had to pause and rest three or four times on my way back to my room.  This experience replicated itself everytime I had to go out that day...and all I kept thinking about was getting myself to Perry House to do this post.  I didn't get there, although I suppose I could have asked the Lantern van to take me there at night.  However, I'm not a fan of being in secluded out door spaces by myself at night.  I decided to cross that bridge when I have two good ankles on which to navegate the uneven terrain in the dark.

This experience led me to thinking about how my perception of nature may differ if I were disabled.  When you have to rely on something man-made such as crutches or a wheel chair, does "nature" become more dangerous?  It did for me.  I stayed on the pavement because I was afraid that if I walked on the grass I would be more likely to fall over.  Of course, "nature" could not be escaped.  "nature" had torn holes in the concrete which posed threats to my standing leg and my crutches and of course, Bryn Mawr is a big hill and the inclines are also not good for balance.  When I have to good legs, which are products of "nature", it becomes much easier to navegate.  I feel much more at home in it and Perry House is not so far away.

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ekthorp's picture

I'm so sorry about your leg,

I'm so sorry about your leg, Sara. I hope you're feeling a little better now. Your post made me really contemplate, though, about access to nature and the way we interact with disability, and the way the 'natural world" does as well. I hope you heal soon!

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