IT WAS A QUIET SUNDAY afternoon. I decided to go out to the garden to cut some peonies from a bush that's surrounded by loose, ornamental rock next to a capped utility hole. I've been gardening in this area for years, and I've always avoided stepping on the utility cover. However, on this day, I suddenly slipped on the rocks and, in a matter of seconds, found myself lying on the ground with one leg in the hole up to my knee and my other leg straight out in front of me. Somehow I had flipped the loose cap off when I'd fallen on the hole.
The metal sleeve around my leg was so tight that it forced my pants up to my knee, leaving the bare skin exposed. I was shocked, and the pain was intense. I called for my husband, but he couldn't hear me from his study and no one else was around. So I did what is most natural for me in times of trouble—I prayed.
The first thing that came to me was "the scientific statement of being" from Science and Health. It begins: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all" (p. 468). This powerful statement—an affirmation of God's unerring, spiritual law—denies the existence of matter and acknowledges the allness of Spirit. These ideas grounded my thought, so I felt as if I was resting on solid spiritual ground rather than feeling helpless and vulnerable. Soon I was calm enough to try getting my leg out of the hole. Since I couldn't stand up, I inched myself backwards with my hands and my other leg and managed eventually to get free.