I am in my full upright position after being down with a nasty virus for an entire week. Having a 24 hour intimate experience with the toilet bowl is one thing – being sick for a week brought a level of vulnerability I wasn’t prepared for and couldn’t name. For someone who delights in possibility and choice, this week my body called the shots, and the waves of emotion coming to the surface demanded to be released without being understood or neatly tidied up.
Forced to be very still and quiet I keenly felt the absence of my “doing-ness”. Typically I’m a person who enjoys multi-tasking and moving through my day in a rhythm that offers time for both stillness and engagement, enjoying the satisfaction of crossing off items from my “to do” list. Not this week. Whenever I would attempt some small task, my body would instantly push the delete button.
Instead, I spent hours sitting on the couch staring at an incredible tree a block in the distance, its’ bare branches silhouetted against a winter sky that changed color from soft grays and blues to brilliant pink and orange as the sun set. I watched squirrels scamper from branch to branch – always the same branches and always at the same time of day. Crows tend to prefer the very top branches, while a hawk perched on a lower branch, closer to the trunk. I watched the branches move with the wind and the clouds move in their dance across the sky.
The tree’s presence allowed my inner stillness a place to rest in the absence of my normal rhythm of doing business; an icon to gaze upon, so majestic, strong and wise, quieting my mind and mirroring back those same qualities in me. I have a strong, wise, healthy body. I am so grateful.
At the same time…in my own parallel universe…
I had no appetite for six days. I’m not joking. I ate Saltines and drank Ginger Ale with a straw. At some point I grabbed my beloved other half’s bathrobe. Not up to washing it, I continued to wear his robe throughout the week. That meant he wore mine… I looked like a jet-puffed marshmallow and he was now sporting a mini. Good thing he has great legs.
While dozing in a fever-induced altered state, I heard a soft knocking at the front door. Stumbling down the hall in my polar fleece slippers, my toes scrunched to keep them on, I open the door to find the young neighbor girl taking pre-orders for Girl Scout cookies. She’s adorable and on most days I would welcome hearing the whole spiel, but I had no reserves for debating choices, let alone spelling my name a dozen times, watching the pencil slowly form each letter in the designated area on the spreadsheet. Check two boxes of the Samoas, use my first name, you don’t need my address, I live right next door…you will find me. Go away.
I may permanently be off eggs and bacon. This is shocking news to those who know me.
After startling myself upon seeing my reflection in the bathroom mirror…”really????!!!” I decided to avoid eye contact. This is a bit tricky since one entire wall in our bathroom is mirrored in addition to the standard mirror above the sink. I was surprisingly successful.
I found cracker crumbs in my navel and in between my toes.
And while my body is now upright, my hair is not – time for a shampoo. With that done I’ll be good as new – a little lighter, both inside and out.