Shaken but not stirred


There I was at the end of my holiday in beautiful sunny Brittany,  perfect weather, sandy beaches, turquoise clear water just perfect for paddling, and amazingly beautiful scenery.  I had one hour left before catching my train home, and I was just contemplating how to spend this time. My head was buried in google maps, but I was still ambling towards the station, and I wasn’t looking where I was going. So it’s not really a surprise that I stumbled – could have happened to anyone.  I was a carrying  a not-so-heavy back-pack, but it was just heavy enough to topple me – and there I was on the ground – I heard my own cry ‘ Sh…t’  as if from a distance and I was hurting.

Next thing I knew some burly guy was trying to get me to stand up!  No, actually I want to get myself together first, and then stand up in my own  time, thanks.  Suddenly there were 3 of them trying to make me stand up…..  Non!  I said in my best French. I was not liking this so-called ‘help’!

A moment later there is another guy who showed up, he told us all that he was a fireman and those other guys disappeared as rapidly as they had arrived.  The fireman went on to ask me all those formlaic questions, to get me talking, to check I was Ok, that I knew my own name and where I was from, and to check I  was am not concussed. I participated in this exercise  willingly, understanding this process.  He did a great job, and kept telling me that we shoudl get the firemen to check me out.  He told me it’s not normal to fall over for no reason !  Well maybe it IS normal to trip up when you aren’t looking where you are going –  could have happened to anyone!  I asked him if there is a bench nearby that I can sit on, as I was still a bit wobbly at that point.  The nice friendly fireman helped me over to the bench that was conveniently placed over there, I felt shaken but not stirred.


Sitting there on the bench, I check myself over,there was a scrape on my knee, and another on my hand, and yes probably a nice big bruise on my cheek bone.  I checked in with the whole of my body –I could still feel my toes and the whole of my  feet inside my boots, – it felt really  good.  I could  feel the metal  texture of the seat beneath my sit bones.  Ah, yes, there was something inside me screaming at me, in pain. I guess that must be normal too, given that I had just taken a fall.  I  became aware of the sunlight behind my closed eyes,  the sounds of traffic in teh distance, slow traffic parking nearby  and birds singing.  And I could  feel that ‘I am all here, and I am OK’!

Mostly, if I let myself know it, I felt grateful.  I heard this wise and caring voice inside me pointing out that if I did have to fall over, it was much better that it happened  here in town where there were people around.  Much better than on a remote cliff edge on Ouessant (a mostly unpopulated beautiful island of the coast of Brittany) where I had been few days before.  I did indeed have a few scratches, but this little mishap was much milder that other times I had fallen.  There were no broken bones, no blood, and people were  around – even though the first guy that came along  didn’t give me the support I needed right then, I am sure he was well-intentioned.

I sat there for a while, and made space for the shock to be there . What a relief to know there was no need to change anything, and that everything was OK, just exactly as it was.  Then I realised that I was hungry,  and treated myself to a really nice lunch.  Evidently today was not the day to explore this city….. It was time to catch the train and go home, and  uncharacteristically for me, I slept most of the way home –so may be falling over wasn’t so bad after all!

I definitely wasn’t hard on myself for this having happened, as I would have been in the past, and I found many small moments of kindness, and tenderness towards myself on the way home.  There is one inside me who can be hard on me sometimes – but on this little mishap I felt only self-acceptance and self-kindness. It could have happened to anyone and thank goodness it was so minor!


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