When the Ceiling Falls

September 12, 2023

When the Ceiling Falls

By Amba Gale

“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when 

we allow the unexpected to happen.”


Last week, the ceiling fell in my lower family room, where I house all my books, papers, and quite a bit of work.

Really. This really happened. Like a rip in the fabric of the force.

A steady drip, drip, drip, from the kitchen above had been falling on the sheetrock for who knows how long, and finally, it all came crashing down. We had been out to eat the night before and did not hear the sound. All my Crossing Thresholds books, plus some other work materials, were sopping, to say nothing of the carpets. 

I found out through my husband, who went downstairs first. When he came up to the kitchen to tell me, he was completely calm, being the enlightened soul that he is.

Walking downstairs, I saw the damage. It was so astounding I, too, didn’t even react.

That night, we had a special event to attend at a healing center called Harmony Hill Retreat Center (great name!), which I was committed to. There was NO WAY I was not going, yet the steady drip, drip, drip was a circumstance in the world that made it look like not going was the only option

My husband said I could go without him. I said no way; his presence was vital.  After all, it was out of his having been diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in 2001 that we connected with Harmony Hill in the first place! Through their retreat, we completely shifted our relationship with cancer from living in fear to living with LIFE. And did so throughout his years of dealing with the cancer. There was a gala evening, an auction, to which we were committed to attending that evening.

Neither of us had room to be upset, rail against the sky, or even have any reaction. The whole world called: ”FIND THE PLUMBER!!!”

With a single intent, within ½ hour, Don found a great plumber. Within the next ½ hour, he was at our house and, within 10 minutes, identified and found the leak. An hour later, after buying the broken T fitting, dah, dah – no drip!!!

We were good to go.

The sheet rockers came two days later, and the ceiling looked good. As new.

Sometimes, “life has leaks,” as one of my awake friends said to me when I shared the incident.

Sometimes, the universe speaks so loudly in a sudden occurrence, forewarning us of breakthroughs to come out of a breakdown. 

I remember, in 2003, when I found out I had a brain tumor and all the surgeons I had interviewed told me that I’d lose my sense of taste and smell out of the future necessary surgery, and I was living in a great deal of fear, my acupuncturist said to me, after thinking about it, “You know? Bodies have an intuitive wisdom.  For your journey, this must be exactly what you need.” She also said, “You’ll find the right surgeon.”

It was, and I did (find the right surgeon), and a new life of creativity, originality, and passion was given to me over the next six months of surgery, plus recovery, with respect to my work.

So, now, I am listening for the breakthroughs and the gifts that will come from this surprise. I already see one, as, while I was peeling apart the wet papers that had accumulated on my tabletop, I found an old “statement of purpose” page for a course that might well show up as a breakthrough for one of my clients this next year. I found another in discovering, once more, that the power of intention sways the day. I found a third in our having cultivated a relationship with a GREAT new plumber and a jack-of-all-trades sheet rocker. I found a fourth in the wake-up call of shifting my listening to attuning myself to relating to all circumstances as gifts. 

So, while sometimes our relationship to untoward happenings like these can shut us down, perhaps, just perhaps, they don’t have to. Perhaps they can open us up.

Perhaps, when a breakdown comes our way (which, after all, is only a breakdown because we expected something else), we can, after accepting our initial reactions, look at what we stand for, out of which a whole new future opens! 

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