The author tells the story from Anna's daughter's point of view, she begins the flashbacks when she refers to owing her existence to her mother three times.
The first time is when her mother was part of the trapeze act, Anna of the Flying Avalons, with her husband, Harold. While they were performing one night, with Anna pregnant, not with the narrator, lightening struck the main pole in the tent.
The blindfolded Avalons began to fall, Anna grabbed the wire, still hot from the strike, saving herself and her baby. Her husband and 2 others died. Anna's baby girl was stillborn.
The second time that the narrator owes her life to her mother is when Anna was in the hospital for 6 weeks and met the narrator's father, a doctor.
The third time would be when her mother saved her from their burning house. The house they lived in caught fire when the narrator was 7 years old.
Anna saves her daughter from the burning house using her acrobatic skills, climbing a tree, swinging onto the house, hanging from the edge of the roof by her heels. She crawls into the window, grabs her daughter and leaps out the window onto the fireman's net below.
The narrator reflects on how much time you have to think when you are falling. Remembering how she felt huddled next to her mother's body as they fell into the net.