For thirteen years I have had occasion to take the short walk to our neighbor’s adjoining condo –a simple few steps from our door to his.
On the weekends my husband usually makes a trip to the local bakery then shares some of the goodies with our neighbor now into his 80’s and alone since his wife passed a few years ago. A couple weeks ago this pleasant task fell to me.
Or should I say, I fell to the task . . .
It’s one of those happenings you see in slow motion even as it occurs. A few steps from our neighbor’s door both my hands flew up as I went down, eyes fixed on the white bakery sack as it arced up and away from me. All I remember thinking was, I hope the scone doesn’t fall out!
It didn’t. I successfully lobbed it unscathed into a tangle of dried roots a few feet away.
After sitting for a stunned moment, groaning and embarrassed though no one witnessed my tumble, I got up, retrieved and delivered the scone, returned home and took four Advil. Within a few hours, however, I realized my injury was not simple bruising. When my husband returned later in the evening, we drove to the local E.R. where I learned I had fractured my left elbow. Wearing a sling, icing, and now in physical therapy, it will take eight weeks for my bone to reknit.
Is there a lesson here for me? Our neighbor (yes, the very same one!) often says, No good deed goes unpunished! –but I don’t think that’s it.
Watch your step! Be careful! Pay attention!
Echoes of admonishments often tinged with reprimand. Guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Assumption of innate carelessness, thoughtless abandon, negligence . . .
Hmmm. Actually, I think the lesson for me is that there is no lesson here –just an unfortunate slip on the sidewalk on an otherwise perfectly lovely day!
In itself it has been a major lesson for me to understand that I don’t need to probe every event in my life with diligence so as not to miss valuable how-to-find-happiness clues. Obedient no longer to internal demands imposed by an unhappy childhood and troubled youth amplified by later years of false steps and disappointments, I am finally free to fall.
I have learned that life happens. Trading in my fears for uncomplicated, eyes wide open, authentic dreams, I may sometime fall or get caught in a downpour of trouble. And as long as life lasts I will choose dreams over fear.
Photograph by Shikhei Goh - 2011 National Geographic Photography Contest Winner
One of my favorite songs is sung by Josh Groban – Let Me Fall (From Cirque De Soleil). Some of the words:
Let me fall . . .
There’s a moment when fear
And dreams must collide
Someone I am
Is waiting for courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me
Won’t you join me in choosing dreams over fear? It’s a perfectly lovely day to do so!