What are the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen?
The beaches of Harris. The churches of Prague. That view you get of the Tyne as you cross the rail bridge heading north into Newcastle. An Arctic sunrise. A Greek sea. Every painting by Alison Watt. The way petrol in a puddle makes rainbows, and how it sidewinds slowly across a yard. Johnny Depp’s cheekbones. Fireflies. The Edinburgh Meadows in late afternoon, hazy with smoke from all those barbecues. My husband’s hands. My son’s smile. An angel’s wing icicle hanging from a wire. Flowers on the machair. White umbrellas in a crowd. Beckham’s goal from the halfway line in 96.
My sight is not great.
When I sit down in the stiff, squeaking optician’s chair, and he asks me to read the chart line by line, I can’t even see the big letter at the top. The whole thing is a fuzz of grey.
But I am lucky. Every day for the last twenty years I have had help to see. From the chunky plastic frames with bottle top lenses that were free on the NHS, to my night and day contact lenses, so comfortable I sometimes forget I’m wearing them. From prescription sunnies, to purple Lindbergs, and at every annual checkup – I am so grateful for the care I have received. My glasses are magical things that turn my world from a meaningless blur to a place of clarity. They don’t just let me see beautiful sights, they let me read the expressions on people’s faces, drive safely, and cook dinner for my son. I don’t know how I would live without them.
Unfortunately, many people don’t have the same access to healthcare that I do.
80 per cent of all blindness could be prevented or cured. That’s over 31 million people, most of whom live in the poorest countries in the world, who go blind unnecessarily. And with poverty being both a cause and effect of blindness, a cycle is created that can be hard for communities to break out of. SightSavers can break this cycle with straightforward operations costing £8-£28 or annual doses of antibiotics costing 7p-35p per person. If you’re moved to give someone their sight please visit the Sightsavers website and donate today.
I’ve written this post as part of the @Sightsavers #MySight campaign. To read posts from other bloggers about what their sight means to them, please pop over to Becky at Baby Budgeting, who is hosting a link-up.