This morning, I’ve been pondering all the ways that we fall.
Falling down. Falling in love. Falling forward, falling back. Falling on ice, on stairs, on a slippery floor.
Ponder the sensation of falling. Even the word, how it makes you feel.
Free-falling on a carnival ride. For some, it’s a joy, a sensation of safe terror. For others, it’s just terror. That feeling when your stomach falls and you know you’re going down, with no one to catch you, or save you. No time to react, to rescue yourself. Pain may be coming.
Falling in love. A voluntary fall (flying leap into the unknown), or an involuntary submission to the inevitable, expecting to be hurt, hoping to come out on the other side with minimal bruising. Why it’s called falling. We jump, we stumble, we try to catch ourselves before we hit the ground hard. Sometimes we find a soft place to land.
Falling down. That moment between the stumble and hitting the ground, thinking you can catch yourself. The shock when you don’t. That moment of nothingness before the pain comes. Standing back up. Gathering yourself, your things, your dignity. Hoping that nobody saw. Hoping somebody saw, so they’ll come to your aid. Feeling angry, and stupid, and bruised.
Falling hard. Falling soft. Never falling at all.
Falling can be a great teacher.