After the Fall

The innocent clump of thistle was the cause of my fall. The toboggan hill in the park has become my favorite training zone. I developed the habit of walking up and down as many times as I could. I go down backwards to stretch the backs of my knees. It’s good for my balance too – well, most of the time. I get in a sort of “zone” or trance when I’m doing the hills. Last Wednesday evening my trance was a little too deep. The hill is mostly rough grass or clover patches but there is this one clump of thistle right on the edge of the hill. I had been experimenting with going up and down the rough stone path at the side and for some reason was going down at the extreme edge of the hill. As I walked down backwards I stepped right into the thistle patch. I must have been a funny sight as I awoke from my trance and twisted around to try to get my footing. People look funny when they are trying to keep their balance on a hill and if the kids below who were playing soccer had only looked up they would have had a chuckle. I ended up on my rear with a bit of a bump and laughing at my predicament.

Later that evening I felt a little blue. What was I thinking? was I really going to go on this adventure, and come home unscathed? But the next day chance sent me a pick-me-up. I have a few plants on my city balcony, among them this cheerful nasturtium. I heard a faint buzz and glanced out to see a little bird. But he wasn’t sitting on a branch. No, he didn’t need a branch because he was a friendly little hummingbird who looked right at me and then flitted away. My plant only has two blooms but he had found them out and come to investigate. Something about his cheerful resourcefulness made me feel better. He wasn’t giving up. He was managing and taking care of his business.

Then today I had another lovely surprise. My flat is quite close to the big city park, Angrignon where I get out of the metro to walk home. I decided to take a path through the shady trees rather than my usual walk along a city block. No one else was on the path and suddenly a pale hawk or falcon flew up onto a branch in front of me. His solemn eyes above his hooked beak gazed down at me for quite a long time. Then I fumbled with my phone trying to take a picture and he flew off.

So, I didn’t get a shot of either bird. I won’t easily forget my encounters with them, though. I felt as if they were telling me to pick myself up and get on with things. So, I will

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