Autumn Breeze

Soft wind and the odd dry, fluttering leaf heading for the ground tell me it is Autumn.
I thought this passing of time would feel awkward considering, like most teenagers, I had succeeded in overestimating the power of summer and was now left without half the joyful memories I’d promised myself would be in my mind -and on Instagram- by now. Relief floods through me as I realise I was wrong and that the breeze is refreshing after the recent stifling heat, not chilling or unkind.
One thing the summer has given me is a sense, not of confidence exactly but… I feel more sure of myself, knowing how I feel about ‘me’ and not being quite so keen to second guess other’s opinions. Do you ever feel like just for that moment you have been let out of a cage? Before you looked on, scared, as the world flashed by but now? Now you are a part of it and no one is going to take that away from you.
The classic cloud of dread that can often settle over you at the realisation that summer is truly over is not so sharp this year. I don’t want to cling on to it. Tempting, though it is, to accept that shortening days and slimmed down trees mean no friends, happiness or enjoying being outside I resist and plan. I want to sit under a tree with my best friends and talk. Talk until leaves have fallen on us, not to be grabbed at. That would seem somehow to disrupt the beautiful nature of the day I imagine. No catching or kicking. Just watching. There will be other afternoons, though, where they will push all the leaves in to a pile and we’ll rush through. If I put my tripod up with my camera on self timer and continuous we’ll be set with a lovely collection of photos. On the days of biting cold we can- my excited planning is interrupted as I grab the arm rests and make some startled exclamation. How did that happen!? I wonder as my dad pulls my wheelchair back up on to the middle of the sloping pavement. Catching my breath I reassure myself that I’m now well under control again. Sorry should I have said? Were you imagining me striding purposefully along tree lined paths with a thoughtful expression on my face as I put one foot in front of the other? The worrying about what other people thought, did you picture a quirky sense of style or tramline braces? Sorry I didn’t tell you. It’s just hard sometimes to make people listen when they think I’ll only ramble on about wheelchair accessibility and automatically assume I either carry the hello kitty lunchbox of a six year old with no ironic intent or that my favourite ‘accessory’ has to be one of those tartan print polyester blankets that always remind you of somebody’s granny when tucked over my legs.
I’m not here to do that and I don’t appreciate the assumptions. I just want to let you know that it’s true what people say; we really are more similar than you might think.

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