Time moves so fast. It's easy to get comfortable the way life is, your healthy body, the routines and general plan your life has taken from day to day.
In the last two weeks our little drop zone has taken a hit to the community. A very experienced instructor and long time resident, Paolo Di Fino, with over a decade on this property misjudged a landing bringing himself close to death as anyone can be.
Again my new found drop zone and the community of skydiving completely amazed me. The outpouring of love through action is more then evident over time.
Paolo's accident sent a wave through our community as such a tragedy would. Vibrant, alive and full of life and experience, his accident caught many off guard as he would be the least candidate for such an mishap.
Close friends took the reigns immediately taking the first watch to more then a week of constant watch as Paolo hung on in ICU. To say the least the community was in shock and going back to work not knowing if it was the last time we would see Paolo was very difficult. Paolo has never been without a member of the community. Even his arriving family members were met with complete openness and generosity. Even the hospital staff was amazed at the care and attention Paolo received from his community.
News came in hour after hour and then day after day. Every minute a blessing. Severe internal damage and bleeding, back injuries and other complications made nothing definite.
Being new here gives me the possibility of a more observant perspective. The powerlessness to help but the fact he was still alive and might possibility pull through in time changes things. What to do? How does someone help? Be a part of the process?
On the day of the accident it was agreed we needed to come together. Latest word was that heavy internal bleeding prevented doctors from operating until they could find the leak. Word made it's way around and by the end of the day everyone converged without being asked, to the main landing area, just skydivers and staff, over 60 strong. We formed a circle, took our time to become quite and for the first time I witnessed the entire community here as one beyond each individuals personal stuff. Using mental imagery, breathing, intention and prayer our community agreed together our thoughts from day to day would be of the strong Paolo as we know him to be. Nearing the end of our circle small euphemisms came from participants narrowly defining our friend. From tears to laughter the mood changed, the energy changed. As a group we have kept that image and his ways of being in our thoughts and daily routines, through our conversation and our actions with each other. Everyday he is here with us. The mood lightens through the possibility of somehow becoming part of the process.
The next day we learned that about the time of our circle doctors located a torn lobe on the kidney and were able to cauterize it, stopping the bleeding, bring blood pressure up and create a new beginning for Paolo. Again, the mood lightened a bit, Paolo was with us in mind and heart as the strong individual we all know him to be. Coincidence or not, we as a group now felt part of the process.
Within the first week more struggles became apparent and we came together again, 46 strong. Sean P Rogan helped lead the next circle. Sean AKA "RockStar" writes his own music and leads the SNE All Star Jug band made up primarily of SNE Staff. He stared the circle off with "We Go Now" on his guitar, a song about Paolo, see the You Tube Link below. Sean then lead the group through breathing exercises to unify the group in mind and body. It was quite amazing. Paolo and Sean always met for early morning Yoga before jumping and it was thought if we were to truly all meet and be with Paolo at once, meditation and stillness might well be the most direct route.
This circle lasted over an hour in three stages, the first, to quite ourselves as individuals, the second to unify in group and the third to unify thought and the power of prayer to Paolo. Again, the strong image of our friend at the forefront. The end allowed everyone the chance to have a say, tell a story and share.
The magic of coming together as a group is apparent. The ability to be together as one allows everyone to see they are not as separate as they might think, that we all share the same attachments and feelings and together find our individual path through this experience we call a life. Powerful. Again, the mood and energy changed.
Paolo's supreme health at 50 as a non smoker, non drinker and active yogi are sighted as his prime means of surviving going through a tree and hitting the ground at well over 60 MPH.
Many who make it to ICU don't last there long. Maybe a couple of days. Paolo has been there almost two weeks, on his back, no food, no water.
In the last few days Paolo is gaining more strength, more awareness and power. Still in ICU he is now being sedated from time to time as he is becoming rambunctious. More and more of the community are able to visit him now and reports are getting better. All good news, but he is not out of the woods yet. He is still n ICU and anyone who has been there, knows what that means.
I share this with you all in hopes that your thoughts, prayers and attention will help spread some healing energy to Paolo, our friend, coworker and community member. All of us here at SNE would be entirely grateful.
The pictures below were taken by Kyle Jervis.
Thanks for reading and God Bless.