Going backwards

I find it difficult to believe anyone who gets into their sixties and says that they have never had an accident. My latest isn’t original or without minor consequence. Yesterday morning a kind nurse gave me a bandage to hold two fingers straight.

At the start of the month my gardening efforts amounted to emptying pots, replanting pots, and moving pots. I’ve got far too many pots. Plants that had not survived the winter freeze were unceremoniously sent to the compost heap. Plants that looked like the spring was bringing them back to life were given a bit of pampering.

Sitting in the shade, one large square container held a small fir tree. The tree wasn’t in the best of health but remained well worth saving. What I was unhappy about was its position on the patio out the back of the house. So, it occurred to me that it was logical to move the container to a spot where the tree might flourish in future. The large square container was made of fiberglass but had the appearance of grey slate. It had been standing unhindered in one place for well over a year.

Now, you would think an engineer, like me, would know something about friction. Or in this case stiction, that is the friction that tends to stop stationary surfaces from easily moving. There are more than two ways I could have attempted to move this heavy garden container. One was to push and the other was to pull. I opted to pull and that was my big mistake.

I crouched down and with both hands pulled hard. The container was stubborn. Again, I pulled hard. Then without warning the side of the container gave way, and I went flying. Afterwards, I wish I had paid attention to what was behind me. I hit the ground awkwardly.

When adverse events like this happen, it’s as if time momentarily slows down. Naturally, it doesn’t but it feels like an out of body experience when there’s nothing you can do to stop the inevitable happening. That split second ended with me lying on my right side with my hand extended two steps down on the patio steps. My fall was broken by my backside and my right-hand middle finger.

Oh dear, this is going to hurt – that was my first thought as I lay on the hard ground looking back at the roots of the tree I was trying to save. Second thought was – why did I do that?

Knowledge with hindsight can be a universal blight. Sure, I wouldn’t have done what I did if I’d taken the time to think more deeply about all the possible consequences linked to moving heavy objects. In this case there was only me siting on the ground painfully recounting what happened. No one to say – are you crazy? You shouldn’t have pulled that part of that container.

Accidents are a part of life. Better they be minor. Better we learn from them every time.

Author: johnwvincent

Our man in Southern England

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: