categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside
The other day, my usual morning walk, but my head full of people in offices in various corners of the country, all the work of the day to come, and maybe a little of writing. It had rained and things were slick and walked with the pace of my thoughts–too fast, really, and heedless. Normally it takes twenty minutes or so to notice that I’m in the woods. It’s a sudden moment, usually, looking up and thinking, Wow. The trees! The sky! The birds! And suddenly I’m there. (Exercise releases endorphins after about twenty vigorous minutes, so I’ve read, so no doubt we’re talking just another matter of getting high….) I stepped into the tiny chasm of Nina Brook, as I call it (after a teenage neighbor who passed away suddenly, sadly), stepped over the rocks at normal gate, no thought of moss and wet leaf and no transition, found myself on my back in the water. I held my head up so as not to go under, great surprise as the very cold water made its way through my clothes and to my skin. My arm was under me, so, along with keeping my head up, that was my first project, interminable, and pain. I managed at length to roll around to all fours (three, in fact, favoring the hurt arm) and crawled out, stood on the moss opposite. And really just stood there, dripping. Just as I thought of my phone (front shirt pocket, not too wet), it rang. A business call. But I answered. “Is this Bill Roorbach.” “I’ve just fallen in the brook.” “Oh, no. Are you okay?” “I landed on my arm.” “Oh, my goodness. Can you move it?” I could move it. “Try each finger.” They all worked. “What is the temperature?” Cold, but not freezing. “Can you walk?” I could walk. We didn’t get to the business. She just urged me to walk home, this stranger in an office that handled reversion rights. And to call 911 if I found I couldn’t get that far, less than half a mile. But I was in a state of happiness. My arm was bleeding heavily, I suddenly noticed, but if you pulled the long sleeve down it wouldn’t drip. The cut wasn’t serious, just broad. Shaken and cheerful, I continued on, the usual walk. I wasn’t always a person who falls in the brook.