One of the best compliments I have ever been paid was by a fellow classmate when I was in my teens. That particular day I slipped running up the steps to our class. There I was lying flat out on the stairs laughing at my own absurdity when she leant over me and said "well.. at least you fall with grace."
She certainly knew. During my high school years I managed to fall off a bus, fall on a bus, fall up stairs, down stairs and slip in the rain. The last was the worst. I ended up covered in mud from head to heel. I spent the rest of the day walking backwards whenever a teacher was around so that they wouldn't see and wouldn't add to my humiliation by putting me in detention for messing about on the (muddy) sport's field before classes. Come to think of it, I think she was also there on the night I accidentally pulled down the scenery at our high school dance.. on top of myself.
Oh, and let us not forget the after school disco where I got my sandal heel caught in my skirt hem and fell down stairs into the lap of a completely unknown young man. Or the time I ran back to the car after posting a letter for my mom, slipped on some gravel and went under the car as neatly as a letter through a postal slot. Have you ever tried to stay serene when people ask you if you're okay because all of you is under a parked car with only your head visible? What is the perfect cool response to finding yourself draped over the lap of an unknown severely winded young man?
I think I might have given up and hidden in my room for the next fifty years if it hadn't been for her kind comment. Just a few words, as she stepped over me and went on up the stairs, but they meant the world to an awkward shy teen.
Falling with grace.
Today I've found myself thinking how nice that sounds. Much better than falling from grace, although I suspect the latter is often more darkly exciting. No-one gets through life without falling, one way or another.
So, whoever you are and wherever life takes you.. when ever you stumble along Life's Path - may you always fall with grace.
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