I fell down.
I am not sure how, but my entire body fell to the ground. My knees took a hard hit followed by the rest of my body as it stretched out on the dirty concrete, sliding (less than gracefully) until I put my hands out to stop myself. My suitcase and purse fell over next to me. Lying on my belly, arms reaching forward, and my legs behind me in a childlike Slip-n-Slide position, I stopped.
I was confused and stunned.
There were no signs of a hole or bump, nothing that I slipped on. I just fell. By definition, a free-falling object is an object that is falling under the sole influence of gravity. That was me. One minute I was thanking the shuttle driver, handing him a tip, pushing my suitcase, and the next minute I was flat on the dirty concrete. I felt like a fish that had just been taken out of the safety of its pond and thrown floundering on the shore.
I quickly got up, told the shuttle driver I was fine, and moved toward the curbside check-in. Every step I took was slow and precise. After dropping my suitcase off I found the first restroom in the airport to see if my knees were intact under my jeans and wash the dirt off my red sore hands. Minor scratches were all my body incurred, but my ego and confidence were silently damaged.
I sat on the plane during my flight reliving what happened -how it happened and why it happened. I didn’t have the answers, but I knew I felt vulnerable. I thought about all the falls I have taken in life. Memories of my struggles, the setbacks, the self-inflicted pain, and the pain from uncontrollable circumstances raced through my mind as I relived the years of my life.
This fall reminded me of all of them. It also reminded me of all the tears, the fears, and the lessons learned from each one. There is no such thing as a free fall. All falls come with a price. They all hurt. None of them are easy. Lessons don’t always come easily. The price of a lesson is often the pain of our falls.
I am grateful that I wasn’t really injured. I know a broken wrist is common when you put your hands out to stop a fall. The way my knees hit I could have damaged them. I could have hit my head. My scuffed knees and sore hands will heal, and my confidence and ego will recover. Another lesson learned.
We have all fallen in many ways. Falls happen in life. Most happen when we least expect it. We don’t see it coming. We free fall, pulled by the force of gravity landing face down in the dirt. We aren’t prepared. The best we can do is slide through it as gracefully as possible, pick ourselves up, wash our hands, and keep going. This is how we learn. It is in the falling, failing, and floundering that we move forward.
Pennie’s Life Lesson: “The price of a lesson is often the pain of our falls.”
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