In Health as in Sickness
I was sick recently… Sunday morning, I woke trying to get to a church service that began at 7:45. I did not feel great, so I decided to go back to sleep and make it to the service at 9:00 or, at least, the one at 11:15. Don’t worry this is not about church; I go because I need church. However, Sunday was a day that I did not make it to any service. I was sick. Fever, a few aches, nothing else. Just sick.
Because I am not normally down and out, because it is the flu season, because I have a fever, because I just don’t feel well, I drag myself, with the help of my loving partner who is my wife, to a Doctor’s Care. We wait for an hour or so. I see the doctor. She says I am sick. She doesn’t know why. The flu test is negative. She says it may be a virus. She prescribes Tylenol, Motrin and plenty of rest. She says that I should take the next day off. She offers a work excuse.
The next day, I excuse myself from work. I feel bad. I sleep on and off all day. I feel better, then I feel worse. I have a meeting I must get to at a school at 7:30 the next morning. I’ve got to get to that; it is a meeting that is important and one we have already delayed too long. I’ve just got to get well enough for that one.
I wake up today feeling better. Not 100%. Not quite myself. But, better. I pick up breakfast for the group (I always remember to “feed the teachers”), I go to the school and have a beautiful first meeting with a group of beautiful public-middle school teachers. They feed me in ways I cannot explain. I feed them with biscuits, doughnuts and juice. Hopefully, also with our work together.
I get home and realize that I have time today to rest again. I go to the front porch. I take a book I have wanted to begin for a while now and I sit in creation. I sit for what seems like hours. I sit enjoying the sun and the cloudless blue sky on the crisp fall day. I read a little. I stop and enjoy the air and the outdoors. I read a little more. I stop and listen to the sounds of nature and the sounds of the city at the same time. In many ways the sounds of both are the same. I close my eyes. I enjoy the sun. I drink some coffee. I rock in my favorite porch-based rocking chair. I read some more. I listen some more. I rest some more (it is what the doctor ordered, by the way).
I consider what I have been reading about thresholds and the mystery of major thresholds in our lives and the mystery of everyday thresholds. I consider myself in an in-between space right now. I am also beginning to understand how my pilgrimages to the mountains and to the sea several times each year lead me to different places all leading to the same place (I think I’ll write about that a bit later). I think I may be entering a threshold right now…
Thinking…I am taking this time to rest because I am sick. I am enjoying my resting more today because I am better. So, why am I not resting this way each day? If resting makes me better and if I enjoy the resting even more because I am getting well, why am I not resting in this way each day? Am I awaiting more illness so that I may once again rest in order to heal? Am I not appreciating the rest that I do get when I am healthy?
I am not sure of the answers. But I think I know. I think I may rest now and think about it later. Care to join me in my rest?