This blog was written by Judith Tekin for Fethiye Times. Photos by Judith Tekin.
Thank you for accepting me as a regular contributor to Fethiye Times. I look forward to writing with the hope that it is a positive experience for readers and helps to lift their spirits.
This is what life is all about.
Blessings are in our lives every day, but sometimes we simply lose sight of them.
When we do notice things previously overlooked, we begin to take more notice of ordinary, everyday things; rain, clouds, birds singing and the world outside. Then we “appreciate” rather than just “notice”.
Sometimes even the smallest gesture, a smile, a cup of tea or simple errand for someone can bring us as much pleasure as it brings joy to the recipient.
Appreciating each of our unique life situations enables life to become more vibrant and we learn to treasure the things in life that signify the best in us.
Being empathetic and compassionate is a must and it’s always good to share our views, acknowledging that we are all different and should be so.
The six senses
And this brings me to think about our six senses. For a minority of people with one or even two missing through no fault of their own, miracles would come in handy!
For the blind it would be a miracle to see. I myself am deaf, and for the deaf, it would be pure joy to be able to hear the sound of rain, birds singing or music and so much more.
Whichever sense is lost, the person will be living in an entirely different world and will cope the best they can.
First of all, it’s by no means the end of the world, but when deaf and in company, one may as well be on one’s own as there is no shared communication.
Folk laugh and the deaf person is totally oblivious as to what everyone is laughing about.
Now, with everyone wearing masks, visual communication ceases as there is no ability to lip-read. Thankfully friends are kind and explain.
But all is not lost as I believe that, what we may lose in one sense, we gain in another. Sight, smell, intuition, feelings and touch enable the deaf to have increased alertness in the world around them. Text on TV is very useful and we acknowledge that more technological advances are being invented to help the deaf all the time.
Deafness is an invisible disability and deaf people develop their own communication skills and adapt typically well in a hearing world.
Have you noticed that deaf people use their hands more to communicate and they lip-read? It shouldn’t be seen as a handicap but just a different way of living and means of communication.
Thankfully, hearing aids amplify hearing but by no means can the deaf hear normally. The deaf need to see a face in front of them to see and lip-read and sometimes the incorrect word can be seen to be heard which can be hilarious to others.
However friends totally understand and help where they can. Oh, for the delight of having understanding friends.
It’s not so difficult learning to survive in a hearing world when deaf. Other senses compensate and often deaf people have advanced vision, feel vibrations acutely, react more quickly and can be very alert.
Often they are most artistic and have much more worldly insight and an awareness to appreciate attention to detail.
Reflecting on life as deaf is, in a nutshell, living a normal life as much as possible and possessing the gratitude of being alive.
A small thought written down can be of so much more value than a big thought that simply floats away.
Writing is an excellent means of expression and I enjoy writing about different aspects of life that come into my mind.
It’s not only humans that can be deaf, three years ago we adopted a white blue-eyed angora rescue kitten. Realizing she was totally deaf, I taught her sign language. She reciprocates by using her paws to communicate with us too. Being vulnerable, she’s a house cat but enjoys exploring the world outside with a harness and extending lead.
We have so much to be thankful for in life and we must all stay positive with shared hopes for a better future.
A world full of wonders
The world is full of wonders to be found in the strangest of places. Being deaf enables one to see the beauty of nature often in minute detail in front of our eyes, to notice the world around us, and the joy of being alive and seeing the world in an entirely different way.
How lucky we are to be in the Fethiye area, full of rich culture and history everywhere. Walking is pure joy and we have so many beautiful natural beaches to bring joy to our hearts.
At Yanıklar, our local beach, I see small flowers emerging now from under the sand. It’s so beautiful to be amongst nature, a place for relaxation during the time the allowed out with lockdown restrictions.
Walking on the beach allowing the sand and sea to drift over my feet and between my toes is just heavenly at any time of the year – and grounding.
Swimming when the water is warm is also a pure delight.
To see the first snows settling on our mountain tops brings joy to our hearts.
And although we look forward to normality to return to this world, we can still reflect at any time upon the changing and beautiful seas, observe the many sea birds, some diving into the water. We are privileged to see turtles and dolphins and have many incredible places to visit just on our doorstep, so to speak.
We welcome places to be inspired, it can be a small stream, waterfall, forest or even a field full of wildflowers. Nature is here to comfort and heal us.
And so we all need to venture out when we can in these changed times, to places of serenity to enjoy the fresh air, so healthy and for us all to share. We all need more tranquility and optimism than ever.
Remember that only humans know about this virus. Nature all around us acts as an antidote for any frustrations any of us may be feeling. We become inspired and at peace with ourselves when we understand the outside world.
None of us are experts in life and we all need to stay confident and positive whilst staying safe. I believe to be positive is a discipline and exciting too, as we don’t know what tomorrow will bring – but we all live in hope.
At the end of the day, unless we truly believe that our lives will be better, we are unlikely to take that initial step to take responsibility for making it so.
As we are all in this together it’s important to remember “Sweet is the day of contentment”, enjoy life and stay safe. Happy days.
Judith is from North Yorkshire where she lived with her three children. Initially qualifying as a shorthand typist / book-keeper, she then attended art college for three years and had her own pottery and design studio. A further career change took her to university to where she qualified as a mental health professional, a career that spanned 30 years.
In 2009, Judith retired at 65 years of age and moved here permanently. She now lives in Ciftlik with her Turkish husband and fourteen rescued animals. Loving art of any description, the Turkish culture, travel and history prompted Judith to write her own blogs to lift to peoples’ spirits and keep them feeling positive. “Turkey and living here is my dream and I’m very happy to be a contributor to Fethiye Times.”