‘I shall host a garden party!’ I declared excitedly when one of my closest friends mentioned that she would be in town for a family wedding in the summer.
That was back in the autumn.
Time stretched away into the distance.
Looking at the calendar on Thursday morning time seemed to have taken a bit of a jump forward. Looking at the garden there was still so much to be done. Looking at the clock I realised that I could do an hour or so of weeding before work.
I had already cleared most of the ground cover weeds and was concentrating on taking out the triffids, large spiky things with thick woody stems and deep root systems. Each took several days to remove having to be pulled, twisted and tugged repeatedly to be persuaded to part gradually from the ground. My arms were so badly scratched by the thorns I looked like I had been self harming. One triffid was stuck so fast that I finally gave up trying to uproot it and used my spade to chop through the root, though even that took considerable time and effort.
On Thursday morning with only an hour or so to spare I knew I wouldn’t have time to tackle another triffid so I by-passed the large triffid half way up the courtyard stairs and hacked and pulled at some briars and nettles. As I passed the triffid at the top of the stairs I gave it a test tug. It was stuck fast. I gave it another couple of tugs just to start the process of loosening it in the hope of making my planned weekend gardening session a little easier.
But this time was different. With the second tug it remained stuck fast. With the third tug it suddenly and astonishingly flew out the ground. Where was the warning I wondered, the gradually easing of the large root? Falling backwards through time and space I stumbled on the uneven steps. Doing my utmost to impersonate my cat I attempted to twist in mid fall in the hope of landing on my feet but as I did so I stumbled on the other side of the uneven step and toppled over the wall at a jaunty angle falling head first towards a pile of rocks and rubble.
My brain registered a freeze-frame image of my wrist as it crumpled and all I could think was ‘oh this is not good, I start work in a couple of hours’.
Looking at time tick by in A&E I knew that it wasn’t going to be sorted in time for starting work. I knew that it would be several weeks at the earliest before I would work again. I have only recently started a new job and live alone and the implication of my predicament didn’t escape me but there’s nothing like acute pain to focus the mind in the present moment. This breath, the next breath and the one after that was as far into the future as I could contemplate.
The lights in the x-ray department are those eco-friendly movement activated lights which kept going out as I sat silently hunched over my wrist focusing on this breath, the next breath and the one after that. Waiting quietly for the radiographer to call me.
This breath, the next breath and the one after that.
It’s still early days and I remain optimistic that full feeling will return to my fingers any day now but I won’t know until the cast comes off whether there is any permanent damage. The possible implications are so far-reaching that they have the potential to forever change the course of my life. But battered and bruised all I can focus on is this breath, the next breath and the one after that.
And that’s not a bad thing.