- Being mindful doesn’t guarantee protection from danger.
- Being nothing and headless see headless.org) doesn’t mean something can’t hurt the head.
- Being nobody, somebody can still get an accident.
- Being spacious awareness doesn’t mean nasty things can’t appear from space. Even on a windless day. Like acorns and spiky chestnuts. Falling branches and whole trees. Lost arrows, bird shit, a bullet or a mosquito.
- Living timelessly in the Now doesn’t mean everything happens in the present moment. Countless accidents happened in the past. In different locations. Fortunately, they don’t all happen in the Here-Now when this body passes by.
How It Happens
A mindful & headless* walk in the woods. Enjoying the scents, colors, silence, and a delightful warmth of a windless autumn day. Good for a few hours of mindful savoring.
After a few hundred steps, a sudden loud noise. And bang! A falling branch hits the head. Hard.
Blood everywhere. Stumbling. Sinking to the knees. Bending over to let the blood flow on the ground. Preventing it from messing up the new fleece jacket.
Shaking hands grab into the back pocket for paper handkerchiefs. All ten turn red before the bleeding normalizes.
Witnesses? An approaching elderly couple. The woman runs to get help. Her partner stays, offering to make an emergency phone call. But I succeed in calling my daughter, who calls my ex, to get her car.
Five minutes my hands keep trembling, then they relax. But around me, four people worry because of the wound and the blood-covered head and face. A second couple offers a ride to the hospital.
I thank them. Tell them I can manage, can balance on one leg, talk. And walk a few minutes towards the car that will pick me up.
While driving to the hospital, I phone the emergency department. When the operator asks what the wound looks like, I ask my ex to take a look. She prefers not to, because she’s driving with 120 kilometers per hour. But she tells us anyway.
45 Minutes later: a kind emergency doctor helps us. Skull okay. Wound: long, frayed, split open, needs stitches and a tetanus shot. I’m sure there’s no concussion or trauma. The physician agrees after checking my mental & physical state with questions and tests. And recognizing our humor. But he tells me to stay with someone during the night.
So after 3 decades, I again sleep in the same house as my ex. Sleep? At 3 o’clock at night, I feel the relaxed state of the body, but no sleep. So, something else must at play. Again sleeplessness caused by the full moon? I check it online, and yes: strong full moon. Okay, at least the body-mind and moon are in tune.
The accident causes fatigue for a few days. Lots of sleep. Minimizing online activities, no email or online meetings. Have to watch sleeping positions. Avoid showering, bending the head, frowning, and wiggling the ears. All that can cause bleeding, leaking, or pain.
Learning To See
Three years ago I moved from busy Amsterdam to a peaceful village. Surrounded by woods. Back to the roots? My last name: Bos, the Dutch word for wood.
Started walking under the trees. Daily, upto 4 hours. With light, barefoot shoes on uneven ground. Because that feels so wonderful. And increases the sensitivity, strength, and flexibility of the feet.
So I learned to watch my steps and trust my feet. With peripheral vision and feeling. That needs an upgrade.
Every day I admire the sweetness of nature. But I’ve also seen snakes, ticks, a mad wild horse. Mountain bikers racing out of nowhere. Buzzards attacking joggers. Even grenades from WWII, a wolf, and arrows of careless archers. Plus innumerable fallen trees, twigs, and branches. Heard some of them come down with tremendous noise. Sudden happenings, inspiring awe, never triggering fear.
In the future present the eyes will see more. Not only where those fallen objects landed, also where they can come from. With peripheral and focused vision covering horizontal plus vertical space. Embracing heavenly spheres, that offer more than rainbows, gods and angels. The higher parts of nature includes dangers. Tops of sick trees, strange twigs, leafless branches, and broken parts ready to fall at any moment.
A protective rugby scrap cap takes the place of my regular cap, increasing my safety and attractiveness…
Five days later I return. To look for traces of that branch, or blood, or trauma. See the broken laying across the path, with innocent people walking by. Covered with mold and mushrooms. Length: about 7 feet, or 2 meters. Heavy, hard to lift. Roll it off the path so that other walkers won’t stumble over it.
Grateful for the branch not hitting too hard & keeping somebody alive.
Thankful for those 4 people who offered help (hope they got over their shock). Plus especially my daughter, ex, and the nice doctor.
For the Dutch health care system’s efficiency & cost (only 38 euros).
The body for stopping the bleeding & healing quickly, without infection.
The head for having only a few, short hairs making treatment & healing easier.
Awareness. For rapid dissolving stress, leaving no trace of trauma, and challenge to see even more.