I am feeling so blessed to be alive today.. Even on this 18º morning.
Yesterday I had a 'could-have-been scary' accident on a hike. Without much detail, I will say, a very large rock fell on my head.
It was a piece of sandstone, that luckily shattered when it struck me. Later, at home, I found my shirt was completely full of sand as it had disintegrated all over when it connected with my skull.
Looking back there is a series of fortunate events, a.k.a, blessings that protected me.
For one thing, at the last minute, a friend and fellow co-worker of mine contacted me and asked if she could come on the hike as a 'friend' for the day. It's not common for us to spend our days off, hiking with guests. I was pretty grateful for the offer since I was feeling trepidation about this particular hike, which I now understand why.
Second off...it was freezing cold. I would normally never dare to call that a blessing, but hear me out. Due to the moisture content in the sandstone and freezing temps, the rock is extra brittle right now. Sandstone crumbles easily but this stuff yesterday was ripe for disintegration. In a way, that's bad. When you're using large sheets of sandstone as a hand hold and it literally falls away from a wall, it can be very scary and dangerous. Which was the case yesterday. I happened to be below the incident of mishap. The rock came sliding down and shattered over my head. Thankfully, it was extra crisp and fragile. Had anything that size of real substance, like basalt or granite hit me, I know I wouldn't be here blogging about it.
I was wearing a hat. Because of the freezing temps, for the most part, my entire body was wrapped in layers of clothing...including my head. Amazingly, I have no lacerations on my head, shoulders or back, where the majority of impact took place. I had a distinct impression shortly after I sat down to evaluate how I felt, that my hat spared me a potentially serious situation.
My hand came in handy. I remember hearing, "watch out!" and instinctively I ducked my head and put my un-gloved hand up over it. So I now have a finger that resembles hamburger right now but better my finger than my noggin.
30 minutes prior to the accident, my foot started aching. This is a normal occurrence, but for some reason I felt the need and took the opportunity during a brief break to take some Ibuprofen and Aleve. Pain was minimal and so was the swelling.
After a brief break and self-evaluation I felt it was safe to continue on the hike. I felt no pain or side effects almost at all for the duration of the hike. The freezing wind chill kept my fingers and head numb, dulling any sensation at all.
When I went to bed last night I was terrified that I wouldn't wake up today. I kept rehearsing all the ways I'd been protected during the day and told myself that surely the Lord wouldn't take me after all that. The rock hit the top right of my head. I am a right side sleeper. I can only breath through my nose, sleeping on my right side. I can't emphasize enough, how much I can't sleep or breath in any other position. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I also had the distinct impression that I would need and be able to sleep on my left side. And I did. I slept well and without any trouble of breathing. I knew that if I slept on my injured side, the blood in my head would pool to the right and cause pain and swelling. I was spared, yet again.
I woke up this morning feeling so grateful and so aware of my Father's literal protection of me. I am grateful for my existence. I am beholden to Him and do not want to take my life for granted.
I realized last night, that I DO love my life. I do want to live. I'm grateful for the chance to do so...to live another day.