In the process of getting water from the hydrant, across the driveway, over the pile of old utility poles and under the fence into the horse trough, I thought it might be good to rinse out the trough. So, I pulled the trough over, tilted it up and washed it out, using my hands to rub off the remnants of whatever it is that makes the bottom of a tub feel a bit slimy. After rinsing out the last bit, I let the big, black, Rubbermaid TuffStuff container flop down on the ground, then pushed it back into place. Then, I swung around to pick up the hose.
Halfway through my swing, it occurred to me that I had not properly calculated turn radius, body angle and proximity of the steel fence post that was close to my head. The reason this occurred to me had little to do with deliberate reflection and much to do with the sudden pain emanating from above my eye, the bridge of my nose (I was wearing my glasses), the side of my face and somewhere in the vicinity of my left ear. I stood for a moment, well, actually, half-stood in that nether position when collapsing would seem to be complete exaggeration but standing straight up doesn’t seem like a really terrific idea either.
After a moment, hearing nothing that sounded like blood dropping onto the dust at my feet, I continued with the duties of the moment. I finished filling the trough, then carried feed to the horses and resumed whatever project I was working on in the garage.
This morning, after my monthly shower, I dried off and then began combing my hair. I noticed a small dark spot just at the edge of the hairline near my left temple. A small cut, a bit of a bruise, nothing to provoke much sympathy or admiration. Had I gone inside the house immediately after the smashing my face into a fencepost incident, I would have seen a bit of blood and immediately convinced myself that the severity of my injuries was dramatically greater than assumed.
Focusing on our hurts nearly always makes them seem greater. Going on with the better parts of life frequently makes them seem less awful. But it is, even then, good to remember what’s around you before making any sudden moves.