A story about falling and its lessons

A story about falling and its lessons
"What you can plan is too small for you to live." — David Whyte

For the last six weeks I have danced with an illness that has required me to pull back from boxing, social activities and even walking. I have walked only 10 to 12 kilometres once each when I planned to be walking significantly more by now. Sometimes even this was too far and I had to pull back into rest and stillness. It felt like one step forward, one step back.

Then on Sunday, in one single moment, every thing changed. Unexpectedly, I took a giant step back into a stepless place.

I just finished writing my newsletter, put my computer aside then stood to walk upstairs to fetch my sheets to launder when disaster stuck. The toes of my sleepy left foot curled under and the full weight of my body came down hard on the top of my foot that was touching the ground where the sole should have been. Pain roared instantly and I knew that my foot was badly injured — that it could even be broken.

Standing on my right leg only, I pulled off my ugg boot, looked at my left foot and gasped in horror. On top of my foot was a huge, dark lump, the size of a small chicken egg getting larger by the second. I needed to ice it and elevate it immediately.

I managed to hop to the freezer to grab an ice pack, hop to the bench to grab the phone then hop over to the couch and raise my foot up above my heart. Then the shock kicked in. I phoned friends for help, sobbing that I’d done something really bad to my foot, rang the after hours medical clinic for an appointment so I could avoid spending hours waiting in emergency at a hospital, then lay on the couch shivering from the shock as I waited for my friend Tracy to arrive.

As I waited, I wondered how this would impact my pilgrimage: would it be better if it were broken or just soft tissue damage i.e. which would heal more quickly? Will it heal in time to walk in September? What if it doesn’t heal in time? How would I feel if I had to postpone the pilgrimage?

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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild
"Your body is made out of clay, so your body is actually a miniature landscape that has got up from under the earth and is now walking on the normal landscape. If you go out for several hours into a place that is wild, your mind begins to slow down, down, down. What is happening is that the clay of your body is retrieving its own sense of sisterhood with the great clay of the landscape." — John O'Donohue  "Walking on the Pastures of Wonder"

“Come to me,” the wild ocean called.

“You’re too far away,” I replied.

“Come to me,” the wild ocean called once again.

“Maybe next weekend,” I bargained.

“Come to me,” the wild ocean insisted.

“Maybe on Sunday. I might be able to get up early to make the long drive worthwhile.”

On Sunday morning, I woke up and again heard the call.

“Come to me.”

“You’re too far away,” I groaned.

“Come to me,” she insisted.

“Maybe in an hour.”

An hour passed and I still thought it was too far to travel for just an hour or so on the ocean's shore.

“Are you coming?” she asked.

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