If you’re ever looking for a really great way to get in the moment, might I suggest a walk in the park by the riverside? Take in the trees, the water. Pause for a bike to pass by while you frame the perfect shot. Take a glance to your right and notice the way the trees cast a magical aura over the riverbank. Notice a spot where others have traversed down towards its edge. Grab hold of a thin tree while you steady yourself and balance lightly for a picture. Then shift to get a better angle. And then, slip. Fall. And gash your left palm open with the rough, gnarly knob of that little tree.
I’m not kidding, y’all. I just got my first seven stitches after holding onto a tree trying to take a picture. I’ll spare you the details, but let me tell you, I’ve never felt so scared or alone in all my life. I power-walked back towards my car, flexing my blood hand to know it still worked and speaking encouraging motivations out loud to myself like a crazy person. After about a half hour of deep breathing and a failed attempt at cleaning up in the nearby Sonic restroom, I decided I had no better choice than to go home driving one-handed. I never even fully looked at the cut, but one glance from Webb and we were headed to the local clinic. My forehead was sweating, my heart was racing, and I wanted nothing less than to have to be stitched up. I actually got so nauseous they let me lay down and take my mask off. But, well, here I am. Fully in the moment. And quite fully in a lot of pain.
The funny thing is, after nearly 30 years on this planet, it’s so ME to get hurt by a tree. A tree! Trying to take a picture on a safe, solo hike in the middle of Franklin, Tennessee. It’s also so very me that those lines, in their own melodramatic way, found a way to rhyme. I’m not even on painkillers and I can still find the hilarity in all of this. Which I guess is pretty good for 2020.
There’s not really a moral to this story. Except maybe, if the hill looks slick and unsafe, you probably shouldn’t chance it. Because you won’t get to finish your hike, you won’t get to go hang out at the coffee shop and write all afternoon, and once you do sit back down with your laptop to tell the story, you’ll only have one set of fingers to mistakenly type with. Just take it from me and my Fighter Barbie hand. I mean, it’s kinda cute, right? And it really makes for a solid princess wave.