Putting Down Roots

accepting help
February 27, 2011, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I left Quaker meeting quickly today to bike to a young adult luncheon at church. Feeling adventurous, I decided to try a different way, one that was on slightly busier roads but which was more direct.

I pedalled down Magnolia through it’s narrowest part and through the biggest stoplights, and as a car was passing coming up to an intersection, a kind voice said, “be careful!” In the spirit of being careful, I made my way to the sidewalks as soon as they appeared. I’d never biked on Magnolia’s sidewalks before, but was glad they were broad and free of other pedestrians. I was enjoying the warmth of the day and breeze through my hair, thinking about how glad I was that I decided to bike instead of taking Kay up on her offer to give me a ride, and then I was splayed on the ground.

OK, it didn’t happen quite so quickly: I noticed, 3 feet before one section of sidewalk ended, that it did not gracefully slope down to the road. It ended abruptly with a 6 inch drop to the asphalt, and gave me about 1 second during which no useful decision could be made. I ended up with a cut leg, a scraped knee, and an impressive section of skin on my hand sheared off, left on the glittering black pavement right in front of the Winn Dixie. I was shaken up and had another mile before I got to church.

By the time I got there, I was crying and trying hard to make it look like I wasn’t. Some women found me in the bathroom and fetched a firt aid kit and a registered nurse to bind up my wounds. Tracy, a motherly woman who sings with me in the band, took a deep motherly sigh when she saw me and gave me a nice big hug.

With gauze wrapped around my hand and leg making me look like more of a war hero than I actually was, and with my face still red and puffy from the tears, I headed towards the hallway, where Laura (the church’s secretary) found me. She asked if I was alright, and was astute enough to realize that I wasn’t (even though I firmly assured her that I was fine). She handed me Kleenex and eventually convinced me to sit outside with her for a few minutes. I cried and she nodded her head, knowing better than I did that there was alot more than just anger at the city of Tallahasee’s sidewalks that was rattling me. (At the time, I had no idea why I couldn’t stop crying, so she sat with me while I talked it out).

She stood with me in the kitchen while I fixed a plate of food to bring in to the luncheon, and when I was still too shaken up to join polite company, she danced with me around the counter (everyone knows that shaking out your sillies helps. Another thing that helped was the 6-year-old who noticed me crying and asked her babysitter if she could come up and gave me a hug. The little one didn’t consult me, just rushed into the kitchen and grabbed me around the waist).

When I finally joined them, my eyes still a bit misty, the other young adults were all kind and supportive and understanding and wholly un-freaked-out by my state. As we got ready to go, Pastor Nan said, “well, I can drive you home, I’ve got a big car.” Another woman, Julie, said, “well I have an SUV, it’s even bigger.” I started to protest, saying I was just fine biking, and Nan looked me in the eyes and said, “really, Linds. Let someone help you.” It was not condemning or forceful or condescending; just the plain realization that I was someone who liked to be strong and self-sufficient but who could probably use a lift.

I rode home with Julie, still feeling rattled and a little bit battered, but more supported than I could have imagined.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: