Learning Another Lesson

I’m not too adept at sickness, having been disgustingly healthy most of my life. Things go downhill fast when I feel mostly good but just flat out starchless; my patience (never my strong suit) goes right out the window. Talk about crabby. Good thing I wasn’t around my sisters more. Crabby drooped downhill to depression as the weeks (six, count ’em) wore on.

I’ve been told, by many fellow pneumonia sufferers, that staying down is critical to getting better. They tell me, if I were to try to get back to my normal life before it’s really time to do so, I would suffer a relapse which would be, of course, much worse than its predecessor. Hunh. Pretty effective threat.

I should probably note that this advice comes from a perspective of some distance for each teller. Like childbirth, I suspect they have forgotten something of the agony and looniness that set in with the long days of cotton-brained, isolated, frustrating boredom. I suspect this because I’ve now been vertical (except for a pretty good night’s sleep) since mid-day yesterday, and I’m already beginning to look backward at this experience with more perspective and less hopelessness. It wasn’t all that bad after all, was it?

Wellll … maybe, maybe not. Not enough perspective yet.

But I feel that inner rising, the bubbling to the surface of optimism, that heralds a return to health and active engagement. Everything I look at or think about is interesting again. Even the foggy, gray day is beautiful once more, the bright red of cardinals and woodpeckers a surprise visual blast of beauty that makes my heart sing—the taste of newly-made cheese a delight on my tongue, cleaning two fresh duck eggs a satisfying use of five morning minutes—in a day in which I am so grateful to be alive, to see and smell and hear and ponder and laugh and love.

Now that I think of it, those long days of feeling only minimally “alive” may have been something of a pseudo-burial; an enforced resting time during which my ability to appreciate was reawakened and focused in ways my “regular” life couldn’t allow. I wrote this to a relative this morning: “Isn’t it amazing how something awful, like the death of a parent, opens doors that were firmly sealed shut until the awful thing happened? Convinces me yet again that there is a Cosmic Wisdom waaaay beyond our understanding.”

It is amazing. Thank you, Cosmic Wise One, for helping me sink into a place where my [st]illness unearthed a key to new life.


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