One particular July 4th* sticks in my mind. My best guess is that I must have walked too close to the edge of the roof, but I don't remember falling.
But first, the Aesop story:I think I was 19 years old and for employment, I was managing a restaurant. Somehow or other, I was able to get enough of my work done to take the evening off, leaving the assistant manager to handle the final few hours the store would be open. As any of you who have worked in the food industry know, major holidays are not vacation days for food workers.
A young man was in the midst of a long journey and, on the second night, found himself exhausted and fatigued. As night fell, he found a deep freshly-dug well and drank fully from it. He then laid down to sleep right next to the edge of the well…
It was a July tradition to climb up on the roof to watch the fireworks. This was not the first time I had been up on the roof. All previous adventures up top had been without incident.
What was different on this July 4 was the short amount of time I was on the roof. I remember climbing up the ladder and taking a few steps around. Then, my next memory was that I was painfully on the ground. It seems my falling was not a problem but in the landing I busted my right ankle. This was not much of an injury but enough to leave me wearing one of those plastic and Velcro cast-like contraptions for six weeks.
Aesop Continues…Some holidays are more memorable than others are. Falling off the roof is really a way to remember the 4th of July. Silly me. It must have been my "Fate" that led me to my fall. Now, I live in two-story home so the viewing of fireworks is done through an upstairs window, where Fate cannot push me off the roof.
As the young man slept, the Goddess Fate came to him and shook him to wake up. She said to the young man, "Wake yourself up before you fall into this well. For if you do, other mortals may blame Fate for your troubles rather than seeing that the blame truly lies with you. Move away from the well before your own folly causes you harm."
Happy 4th to you all.
(*For my international friends: July 4 is the U.S. Independence Day celebration, right in the middle of the Summer season. Food, family and fireworks are traditional parts to the holiday celebration.)
The is the official blog for K. Sean Buvala, storyteller and storytelling coach.