Before I tell the story of yesterday morning, let me spoil the suspense by telling the ending: I am not hurt. It could have been otherwise.
Yesterday during my walk to the beach, I fell. The sidewalk was just the tiniest bit uneven, and my shoe got caught. Down I went. Happily, I didn't hit my head, but I did land on my hip that had already been hurting.
My first thought: Damn, I bet I broke my hip. And even if I didn't break it, it's only a matter of time.
And then I had to laugh at myself. I've been tripping over pavement since I was 8 years old, and while I don't have skinned knees as often as I did when I was a child, it's not an unfamiliar feeling. I took a quick inventory of my wounds and kept walking.
While I did skin my knees, it's my thumb on my right hand that hurts worst of all of my body bangs from yesterday. I managed to rip a corner of my thumbnail, so every time I tap the space bar on the keyboard, I feel it.
I want to say it was my years of drama training that taught me to fall. Or maybe it was the years of clown ministry (ah, the 70's and early 80's!). Or maybe a self defense class here or there. Most probably it was a matter of luck that I didn't rip the skin off my palms and then take the brunt of impact on my elbow.
I have a vision of an internet meme, if only I knew how to start one:
Age 53 and still skinning my knees!
Or maybe this slogan would be catchier: Tomboys forever!
So let me count up my gratitude: I'm grateful that I could take a tumble and continue my walk. I'm grateful for strong bones. I'm grateful that it was a reason for falling that doesn't necessarily presage disaster: it's not a stroke, heart attack, or something dire. I'm grateful for parents who let me be my tomboy self as a child, so skinned knees are nothing that seems disastrous to me. I'm grateful for a safe neighborhood where I could fall down and sit on the sidewalk for a few minutes without human predators swooping down on me. I'm grateful for blood that clots quickly and skin that knows how to heal itself. I'm grateful that I can fall and get myself up, dust myself off, and kiss my own wounds (O.K. that last was metaphorical--I didn't really kiss my skinned knees, but I did think of how we train our kids and ourselves that a kiss can heal an owie).