Sunday, February 3, 2008
The Little Things
So the last day and a half I have been pretty low, but there are some things that happened..actually one in particular that made me remember the little things....I got a postcard from Winter Park which is where I hurt my knee...a bit dazed and confused it took me about 3 minutes to figure out who Mitch Wesp was...wow...it dawned on me...he was the Ski Patrol that took me down in a sled... a big bear of a guy with a full beard, probably weighed 210 (sorry if that isn't right Mitch...but you seem like a big healthy guy...) I remember being embarrassed when he came and got me...me, a 24 year ski vet and a ski instructor...dumb...but then I realized, Mitch does this probably 20 times a day if not many during the week...He had a very calm and low baritone of a voice and reminded me of a young Santa...actually, as I think about it now...more of a very large angel who, once he got me in his care, would do anything to make sure I was safe...I could feel the bumps in the snow through the sled on my back and knew how hard it was to ski out and down from where i had fallen with over 250 pounds behind you in the form of a sled and a human being, but I never felt in danger from then on...it was almost peaceful knowing that Mitch was calmly and quickly getting me down to safety...occasionally asking me how i was feeling and if I was enjoying the view...I tried to joke, but I actually remember the view quite vividly...the sky was blue like the bottom of a glass bowl held over a refraction of the ocean and the pines were passing by my view, but only the top 1/4 of them as I was completely wrapped from head to toe, with my helmet and my goggles, and I could see them gently swaying in the open sky. I had never noticed the trees like I was at that moment...i remember thinking, I need to look up more often...it was a surreal view and one that I would not like to see again anytime soon, at least from that vantage point. By now, the occasional puff of cold snow had blown up from Mitch's skiis onto my face and goggles and my feet were like blocks of ice in my boots...we stopped and they hooked me up to the back of a snowmobile..ahh the old familiar smell of two stroke...now we were on the flats, too hard for Mitch to pull the sled, but the ride from here on out was pretty nice...smooth and a little faster...and then I saw people in the chair lifts doing that old familiar look of "oh man, that guy is in a sled, bummer"...i've done it 100 times....we pulled into the Trauma Center at Winter Park and from that point forward, Mitch took care that I was comfortable and warm and through all of it, he always had an air of soothing bearness...that is the only way I can describe it....Soothing Bearness...the kind that feels safe and seriously concerned, yet gentle and true. Mitch and his other Ski Patrol were in a constant state of movement...in and out, wheeling others in who were far worse off than I...and i mean constant...It was equivalent if not busier, than any ER I have ever been in...another day for all of them..saving lives, and helping and being there....My life was never really in any danger, but when you are hurt, it sure feels good to have Mitch around..I think I thanked him profusely, but now I am not sure....I was out of it and feeling sorry for myself.
Then I got the card...right at that critical moment of being down and grumpy and bummed out...the card from Mitch. It says,
"Justin, Hope your knee is doing well. Get back on the "horse" soon." Mitch Wesp.
That was it...a simple card...a simple gesture in a world so full of distraction and life...Mitch took two minutes out of his day, to not only remember me, but to write me a card...it is the smallest thing in the world....and it reminded me how important the little things are. I mean, Mitch probably does over 25 calls a week at least...it has been a little under 4 weeks since I hurt my knee...that is a lot of postcards.
Mitch has reminded me that i will be skiing again shortly and all of this is just temporary, but more importantly, Mitch reminded me to take my time and go slow and not to forget the simple things in life....the things we take for granted, but someone else may depend on it for their life at that moment...funny how those small things can change a persons life. My day turned around after I got that card...
Thank you Mitch...I'll be back and this time we'll ski a run together...
(the following is a piece I found on my mom's cupboard this morning, as I woke up and bitched a bit about how uncomfortable I am...jeez...)
There are four parts to this, but I will only do one a day...
-sending love and understanding.
Commentary by Pema Chodron:
Maintain an awareness of the preciousness of human life. Beginning to realize how precious life is becomes on of your most powerful tools. It's like gratitude...once you have this feeling of gratitude for your own life and the preciousness of human birth, then it takes you into any realm.