Been a hard fall

By: Stella Orange

On the drive to school this morning, I was talking with my kids about the meaning of the word “difficult.”

“It means hard. Not easy,” I said.

I went on, “Like right now, for you, tying your shoes is not easy. It’s hard. It’s difficult.”

“What about crocs?” one moppet asked.

“Those are easy! No shoelaces,” I replied.

“What about my jumping shoes?,” he asked. (In our household, “jumping shoes” are sneakers with Velcro).

“Those are a bit harder. A bit more difficult. But you can put them on all by yourself,” I said.


Several hours later, I received this message on a group text:

“Been a hard fall.”

I think she meant: “It’s been a rough autumn.”

But there’s also this sense of “hard fall” – of falling to the ground, and hitting it hard.


I have a dear friend who is an actor.  One of the things he studied at theater school was falling.

Prat falls, to be exact.

“A fall on the buttocks.”


I don’t know about you, but it’s been a difficult autumn.

AND I have been falling on my keister this season more times than I would care to admit.

It is as though the rules of gravity have somehow shifted in this new and emerging world in which we find ourselves. 

But unlike my actor friend, I had not been practicing how to fall on my bum.

Until now.

I am now. 


These are the themes – difficulty, falling on one’s arse – that have been cropping up in conversations lately.

Beneath the stories of paying loan commitments amid cash flow pinch points…

Under the tales of tending the embers of one’s larger vision amid days full of meetings or client service…

Down two clicks from not looking away from war and its horrors of war while buffering our breath and nervous systems so that we may continue to chop wood and carry fire…

These are the questions I’m hearing:

If it is a season of falling, might we learn to fall differently?

If it is a season of difficulty, are there things we can do differently to better respond to those conditions?

If it is a season of keister-meets-ground, are there ways we can pull our work in the world into this moment, “even here”?  

Maybe it’s been a rough autumn. Maybe you’ve been falling on what one of my moppets calls your “booty cheeks”. Or maybe you’re flying high and free in your corner of the world, while ever mindful of the pain, the grief, and the difficulties so many of our fellow humans are experiencing.

To you, I say: None of us knows what is going to happen. We are all making it up as we go along. Just like you have been doing all along.

So when you are tired, please rest. And when you are full, please digest. And when you can, listen to that still, small voice within you that has some pretty cool nudges for what’s yours to be and to do inside these seemingly impossible conditions.

To my ear and to my mind, we are being called to slow down, even as the world around us seems to be speeding up.  We are being called to move at the speed of guidance. And we are being called to witness it all… 
Because maybe, just maybe, that sitting and watching, that resting and listening, that “being with” and “being present as” is the unseen and very potent ingredient that’s needed for something new to happen.

Big love,

P.S. If you’re feeling called to seek accompaniment as you move, and grow, and change, please do reach out. Rebecca and I would be honored to support you on your journey.

Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.

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