Earlier this week I was admitted to the hospital due to an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. Given my symptoms, they imaged, tested, poked and prodded me with enthusiasm.
I know hospital routine, having spent most of my three months of pregnancy bedrest there. Needles don’t bother me anymore. I can sleep better than most people while attached to wires, sequestered like a motionless fly caught in the web of medical monitoring. I’ve learned to let go in these situations knowing that much of what happens is beyond my control.
My husband Orchid brought paper and pen to the hospital so I could write. I later watched him round a distant corner with our children to take them home for the night. I stood and silently wept; I have been away from my children very few of their nights. Part of me left with them.
After I was checked into my room, the nurse turned on the television. We don’t watch television at home, and, frankly, when you rarely watch television much of it looks like a laser light show. I wondered what happened to soaking in the beauty of the brilliant Moon slowly rising in the sky, buoyant as if full of helium. The Moon allows space for thoughts. There is space for me in the Moon’s rising.
I found the Home and Garden station expecting to watch the redesigning of houses. Only this time, the shows were about people fitfully deciding which $800k house would be an acceptable abode. Revolting materialism, turned off in favor of quiet.
Instead, I basked in thoughts without the documentation of writing. I enjoyed time without the bombardment of theme songs and predictable plots. I found peace in stillness and found humor in the delightful tricks of imagination. Time to be. Time to be me.
My thoughts were simple. I thought about what really mattered to me most of all. It was a short list:
During those hospital tests I imagined sweet 2.5 year old Flowergirl’s face. How almost-7 year old Sunboy is growing up so perfectly. Orchid’s joy when he holds our children.
Earlier that day I had been pondering how the things that make life possible and beautiful are often overlooked. It’s an odd phenomenon. When was the last time you truly breathed air? Really experienced your breathing for the wonder and satisfaction of it? Savor a breath like a mouthful of chocolate?
I had tweeted the following like a meditation:
Critical things often go unnoticed, like the green things that rejuvenate our air and our tired spirits.
Critical things often go unnoticed: our nighttime companion the Moon tugging on the tides.
Critical things often go unnoticed: a great fire in the sky gives us heat and warmth, and a place in the universe.
But these are the second tier. More than trees and Moon and Sun, the most critical thing is family…