Sometimes Life Stings

Last week I was cooking dinner and something unusual happened that jolted me out of my daze. I love to cook and was making some new recipes for my upcoming cookbook, The Cookbook for People Who Can’t Eat Anything. I carried a tray of homemade northern white bean and garlic flatbread over to the dining table to share it with my two guests. I took a final step toward the table and I felt an electrifying pain in my left foot that shot up through my whole body. It was the type of pain that immediately changes your life’s trajectory. I dropped the tray, grabbed my foot, and looked down onto the carpet to see what could cause such intense agony.

A silky tan and translucent baby scorpion stood still with his tail raised, prepared to strike again. I did a double-take and yelled something profane (not my usual, but if there was ever a moment for foul language, this was it). I felt dizzy, light-headed and in shock.

Oh boy. I’m going down.

My two friends rushed over, one held me up, the other found the scorpion, and escorted him into a glass container. They took photos (of him, not me thank goodness), googled him, seeking to discern if this little guy was the dreaded “my venom will kill you” kind of scorpion, or if he was just the “this really hurts and I never need this experience again” kind.

I held my breath as they looked him up and hoped it was door number two. After a call to my doctor, who called poison control, since none of us were scorpion aficionados, it was concluded that I was probably going to be okay. Take a bunch of Benadryl, anti-inflammatory for the swelling and pain, and some calming remedies, and watch and make sure no serious change in symptoms occur.

It took a few days to recoup, but I am feeling fine now, thank goodness. Since my carpet is the same tan and brown color as the scorpion was, I continually watch where I step, wondering if his parents or siblings are around. Earlier today, as I tip-toed through my bedroom, I realized that sometimes life stings, but it can be this painful, sharp life moment that wakes us up.

We get so caught up in the everyday, but are we paying attention? Especially in our activities in our homes, which we are so accustomed to and perhaps take a lot of our time and activity there for granted. I now look around, noticing much more.

I don’t know what it all means, since people have lots of interpretations for such events. To me it is simple: wake up! Notice your life! And although somedays sting more than others, they all can teach us something and help us grow on our life journey.

Wishing you sting-less days full of presence and joy,