There But for Grace Go I?

By , May 31, 2010

I kind of did a number on my foot the other day, falling off the platform at the boat house. I got hurt in a way I’ve become familiar with from repetition over the years. I didn’t sprain my ankle or break bones, but I bruised my foot and possibly pulled muscles. Bruising welled up around my ankle, which hurt on and off, and the arch of my foot ached. These two pains seemed to trade off, one taking over for a while, then the other, then both going away, only to pop back up when I started feeling confident. For a while the rest of the leg ached as well, as if in sympathy—probably from tensing up when I fell.

I stayed home for two days, and have been taking ibuprofen regularly, but by the second day I could move freely enough to work on firewood on the beach. I took it easy to prepare for today, when I have to hike out. Beloved friends we haven’t seen for10 years are returning to Alaska, and will be coming in on the midmorning ferry! They won’t be in town long, as they have obligations to see to at their home in the interior, but we may be able to bring them out to the homestead to see it before they go. If so, I’ll hike out and in twice today, so my foot had better be well.

Living remotely, we take care to avoid injury. Of all the things that could happen to us, foot, ankle and leg injuries seem the most likely, considering the uneven trails and the rock hopping we do.

The potential danger of this was brought home early, possibly before we actually moved to the homestead. One day we waited in line at the bank behind a young man with a high-tech-looking boot, apparently a walking cast. Someone asked him what he’d done, and he replied that he had stepped out the door of his cabin, “just like I always do, everyday.” But that one time he stepped wrong, and suddenly he found himself hobbling around with a cast. It can happen that quickly, that easily, and that nonsensically.

I’d pun “there but for grace go I,” but as I proved the other day, I’m not that graceful after all!

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