Our Accident on Saturday

We don’t normally like to take naps on Saturday afternoon. There’s too much to do.

But last Saturday we didn’t have much of a choice.

In one instant, we admired the fact that the tree we felled landed exactly where we wanted. In the next, we were lying facedown in the leaves… blood leaking from our head.

It hurt. It still hurts.

Somehow we missed the “widow maker” hiding above us.

It’s pure luck that it didn’t live up to its name.


We spent the morning collecting firewood at our remote cabin. The best time to prepare for winter, we say, is while the frigid days of February are still fresh in our mind.

It should have been an easy task. We’ve done it lots of times before.

But we had company stopping by and were in a hurry.

With all the big dangers around us, it’s amazing how easy it is to miss the small things.

In this case, it was a dead branch lying high in the canopy. Who knows how long it was there… just waiting for a gust of wind or for some bozo like us to blindly bring it crashing down.

Our saw easily buzzed through the tree. On the north side, we made a nice, clean notch. It pointed where we wanted to drop the log. On the south side, we finished what we started.

The tree hinged just where it was supposed to.

It creaked as it made its fateful fall… with a solid thump as it hit the ground.

“Attaboy,” we told ourselves.

Meanwhile, trouble was spiraling down from the heavens. It was right above us.

We had no idea.

That is, until it was lights-out and we were facedown in the leaves.


The pain was instant. The world went from the natural shades of green and brown… to white… to gray… and then to black.

We weren’t out for more than a second or two.

And we certainly didn’t lie around waiting for another baseball bat to fall out of the sky.

As we jumped to our feet, the world was spinning.

We thought we were done – that it was the thing we never saw coming that had ultimately done us in.

But our feet seemed to work. We were surprised.

With the first step, we thought it may just be a reflex – like the man who rolls his car a few times, dusts himself off and then falls over dead.

But the second step held. And then the third. By the fourth step, we got stubborn. We refused to stop moving or to sit down.

We found the offending branch. The bark was ripped off – just like the skin on our head.

We thought about burning the beast… revenge for the pain it caused us.

But then we thought better of it. No, this piece of wood – after it temporarily shut our brain off – made us think.

We owe it great respect.

We propped it against another tree, right where we can see it when we wake in the morning – if, of course, we’re so lucky.

The branch hurt us. But it taught us a lesson.

It made us scratch our head and think.

What else don’t we see coming?


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