The Boats That Carried Me


“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” ~ Japanese Proverb

For Barbara and Julianne [and countless others] with love

You may have noticed I wasn’t here last week. Actually, I was in the hospital having surgery on my face after I tripped and fell onto a concrete walkway outside my house. Luckily, I didn’t break any teeth, although my jaw had to be realigned after my upper front teeth went through my lower lip and into my chin. I split the end of my nose open and blackened both eyes as well as broke several bones in my nose and face.  All in all, it was a pretty terrible accident, but still, I feel lucky in lots of ways. People in my neighborhood ran to help me within seconds of my injury. I was taken to the hospital quickly and I received incredible care there.

I get by with a little help from my friends.

My friends (neighbors, colleagues, faith friends) came out in droves to support my life after my accident. I floated on a cloud of love and support. It was as though the most beautiful, invisible river of comfort arrived just in the nick of time. I was so tired and lost and thirsty and bereft. My friend, B, slept by my side Friday night. She held my hand and assuaged my fears. She called my mom and my brother and my friend, J, to come and help. J paid my hospital co-pay while I was in post-op recovery from plastic surgery on my face. She stayed with my pets while I was hospitalized, and with me for two more nights, when I was discharged and went home. Other friends stopped in and left gifts. My Buddha buds chanted for me. One friend came by for several days to take out my trash and recycling and to clean the cat box because I can’t lift anything. People ran my dishwasher and answered my phone while I slept.

Friends like I have, are manna from heaven. I am astonished and moved by how beautiful their hearts are.


Love.  Even if it hurts. Love all out.

Again, I realized that love is all there is. That’s the whole enchilada, babe.

Dive into that ocean of love. Never walk away from love. Cherish its presence in your life.


Live. Full tilt. Complete spin around the roulette wheel. Nothing held back.

This week as I tumbled through the weirdness of injury and started the healing process, I felt so much grace in my life. I did my best to enjoy a sip of tea, or the balm on my lips, or the feeling of my dog sleeping peacefully beside me, day after day after day. It was the little things that mattered to me. It was the small detritus of living that glowed all around me. Strange, surreal clouds or the sight of oranges ripening. Those things gave me a small lift, a bounce of soft pleasure, even as I struggled with the difficulty of being badly hurt.

My little psychic sponges, my pets, never left my side. Even now, when I am finally conscious again, they are here, holding a loving space all around me.

The best things in life, aren’t things.

So, I remind myself: dare to climb up out of your fears and stand on the lip of your life.

Watch the moon rise and the way that frost forms along the fence.

Don’t be afraid. There are pink grapefruit to eat and eggs to scramble. There are books to read that will shape every room of your heart. There are people who deeply love you. (Some of them may be dressed in fur coats and eat cat food or dog food, but hey, that’s still real.)

The truth of the matter is there’s love seeping into every crack and crevice of your life.

Don’t doubt it.  Don’t overlook it.  Don’t minimize it.


Develop the eyes to see the invisible beings that stand at the ready, waiting for you to call their names, so they can appear. Angels. Guardians. Guides. Seers.  Never doubt their presence or their care for you.

I saw them first hand this week. I saw them running to help me after I fell. I saw them in children handing me bags of ice and towels and offering to call an ambulance. I saw them as I stumbled into the ER: angels dressed as doctors and nurses, sopping up my blood, talking to me through the fog surrounding me and making sure I was OK. I saw them in my surgeon’s steady hands and in the kindness of nurses and nurses aides who helped me wash the dried blood out of my hair, who ordered meals for me, who brought me ice packs and Jell-o and ice water. I saw them in the faces of my friends standing around my bed, telling me over and over, I’d be OK, while some broken part of me floated up by the ceiling, watching it all.

I am still astonished, but I shouldn’t be.


I want to express extreme gratitude for the incredible kindness and love, support and care, medical intervention and prayers I’ve gotten  this past week. It has truly been the boat that has carried me. XOXX

© 2013  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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5 thoughts on “The Boats That Carried Me

  1. Goosebumps…goosebumps. You are well loved – and so open to wonder and beauty. Thanks for your words – good reminders. So glad you’re on the healing path.

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