Falling is an inescapable factor in my life. Whenever I am in inner turmoil, fearful or exhausted, I fall. Mother Earth just calls me home. I fell at my children’s school one day after a big event that I coordinated. I remember a parent calmly saying, “No, don’t get up, just stay there.” I fell on a walk with my newborn. In that moment, I was a sleep-deprived mother with a dog leash on my wrist, a baby wrapped on my belly and dirt in my mouth. I fell going down the steps one morning in a rush to get my daughter to high school. She said, “Mom that looked painful.” I blame those damn red Danskos, which I loved so much.

I went outside to visit the moon in her round glory. The moon at this time was so beautiful that the sun fell in love with her. She is all powerful, calling ocean tides, causing emotional disturbance, and bringing about new births, according to some. But this night was peaceful. I crept down the wood stairs with my daughter and let the moonlight guide us. Then it happened.

I can blame the odd feeling on my hand and the fear I have of scorpions, but I decided to let go of the rail and walk on air. Three missed steps and I fell. I hit concrete. I sobbed on the ground while my four year old screamed, and my husband rushed outside. Now, three weeks later, I sit with my foot elevated.

We fall in love. Our babies fall from the cradle. We fall into each other’s arms, and of course an apple fell from a tree, which defined our sense of time and space. We wish upon falling stars as they are evicted from the heavens. But when my head will not stop spinning and my emotions won’t compartmentalize themselves, I have no choice but to surrender to the thud. I am hoping that with martial arts training I will learn how to fall gracefully.

No children, babes, or dogs were harmed in the writing of this essay.