My last physical fall occurred just a few winters past. I has been strolling pleasantly through a wintery woodsy area near our place. Upon exiting into the more open, snow-covered parklike area, I had quite a tumble because the snow had covered an icy patch on the path by the adjacent pond.
Falling in older age is not like falling at a younger age when you play football or contact sport and don't even notice the fall. Up you bounce, ready to rock n roll as it were. Now, you lie there, scan your body and assess the damage.
As I lay there and took stock, however, I realized that I was fine. Nothing broken or even bruised, except my pride.
However, as I begin to fall into old age (I said, begin), I also begin to take more precautions. I almost never forget to take my wallet with me when I go for a morning walk, as close to home as I might stay, for I am aware of what could happen. At this time of life, I could have a heart attack or stroke or at least find myself fallen once again but injured this time.
It's not that I anticipate this, but I also now find it prudent to take precautions. My wallet goes with me, so that should I be struck dumb or dead, someone can find out who I am and notify Sue and family.
In addition to my wallet, our dumb cell phone usually accompanies me. Assuming I am not struck dumb or dead, I can easily call for help — at least I can if I can remember how to use the darn thing because when you only use it once every year or three ...
Most of our lives are spent falling into old age. Although there are notable exceptions, such as the hockey player, Jaromir Jagr who is playing well enough in his mid-forties, most athletes begin to suffer a decrease in performance in their mid-thirties if not earlier. I would be surprised if everyone reading this hadn't noticed some deterioration in the same period in their lives. For me, it was heel spurs followed by achy knees as I entered my thirties. Not that I couldn't still coach ball or play tennis, but the deterioration had begun.
But falling, as in aging, isn't all bad. Somehow, there emerges a greater appreciation of life's blessings as we, perhaps, take more time to both physically and metaphorically stop and smell the roses. Think of the beauty of the Fall season. It presages winter but is a feast for the eyes and soul. We can walk in the glorious autumnal woods in pleasant temperatures and without being ravished by black flies or mosquitos. So I think it is that in our own Fall seasons, many of the pesky irritants of our earlier lives fall away as it were.
I just hope that I don't fall too far too fast.