At the start of my happy visit with relatives this month, I stumbled and fell down. As in many California homes, the floor level changed a few inches at a doorway. The floor tiling at one level was a rich, dark earth color, and the wood floor in the next room blended well. I just didn't see that there was a difference in depth. I fell through a dizzy world of deep browns and reds and then I was on the floor of a beautiful room. My family was aghast, but I recovered in a few minutes.
Just two years ago, I might have stumbled, but I would not have fallen. I would have caught myself, shifted weight, possibly twisted my ankle. Lately, my left leg gives way at times. The muscles are sore. I try not to limp, but my gait has changed. I walk more stiffly, more gingerly, less fluidly. Maybe gentle balancing exercises will help.
It turned out that other members of my family fall down. One exquisite woman has been tripping over her own feet most of her life, and usually has the bruises to prove it. An older relative melts to the floor now, and just finds herself there. It gives us something unexpected in common.
Wouldn't you know, the next day I had forgotten all about it, and fell at the same spot, twisting onto my knees and clutching a chair. I'm grateful I sustained only a big bruise.
I want to be the tree that bends and springs back, not the one that's stiff and gets blown down by a big wind.