On a cold October morning in 2005, I fell hard. One minute I was cycling to greet the dawn with a training partner, and the next – lights out! A pothole lay hidden in the shadows and if I saw it, I don’t remember and I never will.
I have no memory of four hours that morning. I awakened in an emergency room surrounded by concerned faces, deeply relieved to find feeling in all my extremities. Emerging from a concussive fog, I repeatedly asked my friend, “What happened?” To his credit, he explained it at least a dozen times. I kept forgetting that I had already asked, and that he had already answered.
First among the many lessons I learned, having taken a tumble, is to always live a “ready” life. The roads we travel are pocked and broken. Shadows hide hazards and sometimes we lose our balance. Life is filled with surprises and “suddenlies,” and sometimes there is not a measurable difference between the speed of light and the speed of life.
I woke from my slumber quite present in this world, but it could have easily been another awakening for me in another world that cold October morning. It wasn’t expected or wanted. I never saw it coming, but I was ready. Life is full of surprises.