There was a book fair going on at the elementary school where my daughter studied. I had volunteered to help out this morning. Our car wasn’t free and it was a 40 minute walk along the trail in the woods. She loved the trail as much as I did, and wanted to accompany me instead of riding her school bus. It was about 19 degrees F (about -7 degrees C) outside and I made sure she was appropriately dressed as the weather office had warned of dangerously chilly conditions. But her bus reached its usual pick-up spot just as we neared it. I urged her to get in as I didn’t want her to risk the cold.
“But I WANT to walk with you!”.
“I know, but it is better for you to go by the bus. I am not allowed. Besides, you will be late if you walk with me”.
Very reluctantly she waved goodbye and got into the bus. I proceeded down the road in the opposite direction towards the trail. The snow on the trail, the trees beside it, the rocks in the creek, and the chunks of ice flowing in the creek gently deflected the sun’s rays. Picture perfect. I stopped for a moment to drink it all in. I would have preferred to point a camera at the scenes and find out what would turn up, if I wasn’t concerned of arriving late at the school.
I proceeded cautiously with my eyes barely straying from the ground. The sun’s relative warmth had melted some of the snow, but the ice was still treacherous. A white man in his 60’s wearing a red beanie and orange mittens, jogging in the opposite direction, greeted me with a “Good morning” and passed me. Was the path safe enough for jogging? I wasn’t interested in taking any risks, but I had an appointment to keep. A woman on a cell phone, in front of me, poked the ground with an excuse of a walking stick – what amounted to not more than a 5 feet long twig, as she plodded along slowly.
A few more yards down and the winding road was about to curve sharply and pass over a bridge.. An awful shriek pierced the serenity of the surroundings. “Are you alright, Sir?”, I heard the lady ask. I was flat on my back with my sling bag under me. A sharp pain shot through my left wrist. I shattered nature’s tranquility, with a loud, hoarse cry once more.
“I’m alright, thank you”, I said and tried to pick myself up. I couldn’t put any weight on my left hand. “Could you please help me up?” I asked, realizing I needed help. Suspicious if this might be a trap she hesitated for a moment, but the pain on my face must have showed. She came forward and extended a black hand toward my brown, making sure her feet were firmly grounded.
“This is a tricky stretch”, she said. “Stay on the snow on the side of the trail. It is safer”. As we reached the fork in the road, I thanked her with all my heart. She turned to the left and I to the right.
I got to the school on time and managed to help with the book fair till noon. I returned home following the same route, but at a way slower pace. A fawn, blending in with the brush, stared at me cautiously, it’s mother watching me warily. There still was much beauty around, but I wasn’t in the mood to soak it in.
There is a slight swelling on my wrist, my back and feet are hurting. This is my second fall on ice. The last time was about 5 years ago. Should I be superstitious? Right now I just want to find out if I can find any helpful information about the damage and the available solutions.
I flicked open my laptop and clicked on Youtube. “Slipped on ice”. What can I find?. Oh, yes, this looks interesting, “The Man Who Slipped on the Ice”: