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Falling Out of a Tree

I was about twelve when I fell out of a tree. I was pretty near to the top when my hand slipped and I was falling backwards through the air. There was a whistling in my ears but it was not the high-pitched sound you usually hear on falling. It was more like a tape recording played on low speed, dropping the pitch to a hum. The fall was at a very slow rate too.     

My whole life began flashing in front of my eyes – everything I had ever done, said or thought was there. It was fascinating watching my life in retrospect. When it came at last to the present there was a sudden huge thump as my body hit the ground. WOOF!!!

I lay there hurting and gasping for breath until I could get up and hobble home. Every bone in my body ached but the pain  never diminished the sense of wonder of that memory.

The Punch

From the age of 14 I suffered badly from ingrown toenails which made compulsory school sports an agony. I was 17 when ordered to play a game of “scrag”, a rough and tumble game with the sole purpose of tackling and being tackled. I managed to stay out of the game until one lad took it upon himself to get me involved. He threw the ball to me and I simply threw it back to him and he got tackled.

In the locker room after the game he started getting on my back, goading me and calling me a coward.  I ignored him and worked at getting my shoes off with as little pain as possible. This guy was a lot bigger than me so I suppose he thought he had the advantage. Anyway he kept on and on and on until something snapped inside me and I took an almighty swing at him.

I was on the floor stooped over my foot when I started, with him standing over me to the rear. In a split second I had turned, leapt and took my swing. I shifted states at this stage. The anger disappeared and I became strangely detached. I was in a time altered state, staring at my fist in fascination.  It was travelling so fast it was whistling! Yet because of my altered state appeared to be travelling in slow motion, humming in a low pitch as it went.  Physically my feet had slipped from underneath me and my body was swinging around and out. My body ended parallel to the ground with me looking at him eye to eye. This was good fortune for both of us because it pulled me outwards: when my fist reached its target it just grazed the tip of his chin and nose.

At this stage I returned to the physical state only to find myself falling to the ground at a great rate. I managed to put out my hands and feet to soften the crash so not much more than my pride was hurt. The other boys in the room laughed which broke the tension. But the boy I had swung at was white as a sheet. He had come close to getting his jaw broken: he knew it, I knew it and everyone else knew it too.  After that there was no trouble at all when I took the sidelines in games. Looking back I see that God protects us all – from ourselves and from each other!