As I do more days than not, last Wednesday I was walking from my car to my yoga studio, mat slung over my shoulder, head bowed slightly toward my phone as I punched my parking coordinates into an app. True, I wasn't totally looking where I was going, and yes, I was taking a short-cut that the parking garage specifically forbade pedestrians to take, but this is terrain I traverse (!) all the time, so I wasn't concerned.
Yet it was drizzling, and I was wearing flat-soled-boots. So in a matter of moments
legs sailing upwards
I landed flat on my butt. On the sidewalk, in the rain, on my back. In public.
"Are you okay?" a stranger reached to help me up.
"You all right?" another asked, brow furrowed in concern.
"Nice landing!" crowed a third, laughing at my mishap.
(Okay, the last one didn't happen. That was my inner-self having a laugh at my expense.)
Basically, I was okay, Reader, I was. Hand scraped, ego bruised, left cheek seriously sore. But, as an adult, I don't land on my keister every day, so as I lay staring at the sky in the seconds after this little misadventure occurred, I tried to stop time, to see what was to be learned.
1. The Unexpected Happens
My heavens. One second I was toddling toward a yoga class, the next moment, I was prone near a gutter on the street of a minor metropolis. It's not what I expected for the otherwise routine walk from the car, yet there I was.
Maybe I need to appreciate and embrace that which is available to me, right now, because its continued existence is not guaranteed.
2. Life Is Fleeting
Fortunately, my posterior took the brunt of the fall. I was on a slight incline, though, and had my tumble happened maybe two steps further on my path, I could have been farther along on the slope, which would have affected my trajectory and I could have landed harder backwards and cracked my skull. Luckily, I escaped alive.
So: life is to be cherished. We never know when the end may be nigh.
3. Devices Are Distracting
Did I slip because I, inputting information into my phone to pay for my parking meter, wasn't looking at what was around me? Was this a signal that I am too engrossed in the device in my hand, not paying enough attention to my surroundings?
Perhaps I am letting real life pass me by.
4. Embarrassment Passes
Oh, I felt silly, after that slapstick fall. Probably couldn't have looked less graceful, had there been an actual banana peel involved. But passers-by seemed concerned, not amused, at my pratfall. And if they secretly were, well, I could get over that.
Lesson: take chances. Fail. Look stupid. You'll be fine.
5. Laws Protect Us
I wasn't supposed to be walking where I was. I should have been on the safer, flat sidewalk, not trailblazing across a slanted metal grate.
Probably best to follow the rules?
...Well, a few days have passed, friend. I've glanced over my shoulder in the mirror at the angry purple bruise with which this incident left me. And I've thought about the lessons I could take from this, what I gleaned from the few seconds I spent prone on a city street.
And you know what I've learned?
Not to take every moment so seriously.
Sometimes, you just slip and land on your butt.