There are certain moments in life when you think, wow, I am really lucky. And today was one of those.
I’ve been pretty lucky in life recently. I won a trip to Sri Lanka last week. Work’s going great. I find what I want in the supermarket. I get the seat on the train. Today, I felt very lucky indeed.
To set the scene, I’m currently staying in the Maldives at a beautiful island resort. It’s gorgeous – a scenic spot filled with restaurants and cool water villas. I’ve been staying in one of those, a wooden hotel room on stilts. It’s far more glamorous than it sounds, it’s beautiful and island life is just so.
Scene set. This morning, because of a storm and crazy water currents, I couldn’t go snorkelling in the ocean like I wanted. So I went for a swim in an infinity pool after a morning of serious working out instead. As I biked back, relaxed and calm, and maybe a little tired, I zoomed along the little wooden pier towards the villas. Just about to turn the narrow corner towards my stilted house, I ran into one of my new friends who works here.
“Did you manage to snorkel in the sea?” He asked.
“No, not today – it’s a little too choppy.” And that’s when the ironic weight of my beach bag, heavy bike and sudden giant gust of wind blew me straight off the pier and into the water 15 feet below, backwards.
With the bike falling straight behind me, to add to the moment.
So into the water I plunged, bag and bike in tow. In this lovely weather with the lovely inviting current. I was so insanely lucky that I didn’t smack the pole I fell next to – or that the bike didn’t knock me out! Instead, when I found my way to the surface, all I could think was “My glasses!”
Scrambling about in the water, I grabbed my bag containing said spectacles, flippers, towel, everything – holding it above the water to try and save what was inevitably soaked. Both arms clutching everything. Maybe it wasn’t the safest thing to do, but no way in hell was I letting go of my glasses!
Luckily, my friend and his colleagues had seen the whole thing – people were shouting, leaning over the side and someone threw me a life ring and helped drag me along the water, but it was still really strong to swim in and I was in shock.
So, someone jumped in fully clothed to save me and my possessions that I was now clinging to more than the actual life saving device. Like a film. It was just like a film. Together, we swam to another water villa’s ladder and up I climbed with the help of about seven fairly startled people around me.
“Take the bag please!” I remember saying whilst I tried to hold on to the slippery metal. Once it was safe, I hoisted myself up.
Physically, I’m fine. Some bruises, a couple of grazes. Minor cuts. No broken bones, just very dented pride. And my phone still works, and I have my glasses! Just not the dignity. It’s not the most graceful of moments to find 20 people including the resort director asking if you’re okay whilst looking like a drowned rat and only wearing a swimsuit and towel.
Weirdly, it didn’t surprise me. I didn’t cry, or even scream when I fell. If it was going to be someone, it was going to be me. So I went back to my villa, had a hot shower, drank a coke and went straight with my friends to a cooking class. I wasn’t even late. According to the doctor, I’m now something of a celebrity on the island.
All in a day’s work… but I can’t help but think of how truly lucky I was today.