Oct 22, 2011

What happens when the ground beneath you crumbles?


Many years ago my dog and I fell through the ice on a lake in the country. My husband was away patrolling at a ski hill and the house we rented at the time was in an isolated area.

The moment I fell through and started to go into deep freeze - I heard my late Grandfather telling me to fight and survive.

I equate the depth, darkness and overall tone of this post to the traumatic events we all experience within our lifetimes and the spirit that arrives and takes us by the hand and saves us from everything and everyone including and most importantly ourselves.

We all fall - here's to hoping we all get back up again.


What happens when the ground you stand upon falls out from underneath you? Is an ambulance sent to the scene? Is there a trauma team on call waiting for you in an operating room? Are your loved ones contacted and gathered together? Are you able to express what is happening and why? Is there news coverage of your story at 6pm? Does the whole world stop and pray for you? Does it become a national day of remembrance? Is the flag hung at half mast?


What does happen in no particular order is you slowly but surely lose your mind,your perspective, your understanding of the world around you. You are not able to express or communicate to anyone exactly what has taken place. You want to find a dark corner in a deep cave to crawl into and wrap your arms around yourself while you shiver and shake. You forget simple things like your phone number, the street you live on, the name of your dog. You become so anxious that the shakes turn into convulsions that rock your mind and pinch and twist every muscle in your body.

And that ground that bottoms out and fails you...that same ground that has allowed you to walk upon it your entire life thus far...ceases to exist.

There is an aura you feel before the ground shakes and falls apart. It's a feeling that something very awful is going to happen and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. No one - not your friends, family can prevent this from happening or catch you as you fall through the deep crevice.

Once you fall - there is nowhere to go. You are stuck; the teeth are clenching your soul, your being. There is no going up, no going down, no going anywhere. There are no search and rescue teams shouting at you from the top, there are no heroes rappelling their way down. There is no light only dark and it's uncomfortably cold.

You know you cannot survive this predicament for long. You try to think of ways to save yourself but your mind is in fragments and colours like a Picasso painting and you can't make sense of what is left of you on the canvass.

Hour go by and no one is calling, then you hear a familiar voice, it's someone you loved very much and has passed from this world but is always there overseeing your every accomplishment, your every mistake. They are telling  you to make like a snake and slide your way slowly and carefully to the top. Don't push, don't pull, just become a snake.

So you visualize and you take your mind far away from the negative thoughts and you tell yourself, "I can become a snake. I can slither my way up to the surface using the path of least resistance. I can let go of all the anger, resentment, frustration and disbelief" and you hear your loved one repeat "Move, never stop moving - there is nothing for you in the stillness."

You twist your arms and legs around your body and you start to slither along the side of the crevice. Moments pass like days. Then you see a crack of light and you find yourself within inches of the top. A vision of your loved one appears and their eyes are as deep as the ocean. They look good in the afterlife; refreshed and strong.

Your hands reach the ledge and with one final movement you pull yourself onto the surface. You look around and all you see is vastness...miles and miles of salt pans in the midst. This is not the ground you previously stood upon but you are happy just the same. You gather yourself, your mind still baffled and confused and you find the courage to take one step after another.

You reach the edge of the salt pans and see the sun is rising in this newly found world. You seat yourself down and with your right hand gather a handful of the sparkling white crystals. You pick up more with your left hand and you throw them up in the air. You wish you were that salt, flying freely in the air, no worries, no sadness, no heavy load to carry, just air and sparkles.

You grow tired so you snuggle up and pull some salt around you. The sky is dancing in a spin of shades of purple and you see your loved one waving goodbye, But just before they disappear, they scrape a message in between the stars and the sky and it reads:

"We all lose our grounding. Some of us never get up again because we believe that there is only one ground to walk upon. Those who do rise, find a new surface and they walk, dance, live, love, sing upon it for evermore."

In every life, the ground will break. But like the salt on the pans and the shades of purple in the sky, you must rise again, fly through the air and land spectacularly upon a new ground.

1 comment:

  1. You have lifted my spirit with this one Lisa. I thoroughly enjoy your writing and this particular one really struck a nerve. A profound THANK YOU!


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