This morning I sent 3 of my four children out the front door together, each armed with a camera. These three incredible souls are in the Autism spectrum and I spend time working out how I can see the world as they see it, and how I can also encourage them to see the world as other people do - or at least for them to understand it.
Autistic children view the world in such a different way to most people.
An hour later, full of pride and eager to share, they walked back in the door where I was entertained and educated by many photos. I saw what they had seen as they walked, from the angle that they had viewed the world. Photos taken from down low, up high, through trees, around corners, from young men sliding down mud soaked embankments rushing towards an overly full lake, to a beautiful young lady with delicate hands photographing the corpse of a duck that she had discovered. The beautiful, natural decay of a body no longer needed by the soul that had flown within it. No sorrow, loads of compassion and bundles of curiousity.
The luminous and unbelievable BRIGHT pink of a dahlia filled one frame completely, as did the sign warning of slider turtles filled another - displayed with equal pride.
Each step charted. Each tree that these three beings walked past was looked at, examined, and sometimes photographed. The world spread before me through the lens of their eyes was lush, green, fertile, sometimes dangerous. The path that they had trod was wet, muddy, slippery and full of intrigue.
This is their world. This is their day. They hold on to nothing that does not matter, they see each step as new. Each of these three children have been bullied so badly in the past that I wondered how I would recover, much less them. But all three of them recovered.
And now all of them see the freshness of a brand new day.
This is living.
This is not just surviving.
This is being present and being open to joy.
This is what my children teach me.