how a drive away from home can bring you home
This past week I've been s.l.o.w.l.y. recovering from a righteous beast of a cold/flu.
As a result, I have had to cancel meetings, client sessions and social gatherings as I continue to ply myself with medicinals, rest, soup and sleep.
What I am reminded of, during this period of recovery, is the amazingness of our bodies to maintain a homeostasis level of well-being day in and day out.
Think about it.
How many functions take place within our bodies every minute of the day just to maintain homeostasis?
Thousands, if not more.
And for the most part, these functions remain essentially unnoticed and unappreciated...
until we break.
And then...oh boy...do we appreciate them!
It is often only in the times when we are brought to our knees that we truly recognize the phenomenal ability of our body to intuitively restore its own good health, time and time again.
And as I reflected upon this innate wisdom, I was reminded of a story that I recently heard:
As a brother and sister walked down a busy city street they witnessed a terrible accident between a car and a bicyclist. The injured man who had been hit by the car was lying on the ground in serious condition. Seeing this, the sister, who was a nurse, knelt down beside him and began whispering in his ear as others rushed to help and get help.
After the injured man was placed in the ambulance, the brother turned to the sister and asked,
"What were you whispering to him?"
The sister responded,
"I kept telling him that the accident was over. That his body knew what to do and was beginning the process of healing. I just kept saying that over and over again."
As it turns out, the injured man credits the sister, in part, for his full recovery. By immediately focusing his thoughts on the wisdom of the body to heal, he left space for it to do just that.
Often, in our culture, we acknowledge the role of the doctor to heal, but fail to see the innate role our body plays in its own healing.
A bone may be set by a doctor, for example, but it is the body alone that completes the healing.
And so, for the past week, I have repeated this wisdom to myself as my body continues its process toward healing...towards returning to its natural state of well-being.
Which brings me...finally...to Sunday morning.
Having been locked in the house for the better part of the week, my husband suggested we all go for a Sunday morning drive.
"Ugh", I thought.
"Movement," I thought.
"Confined to a car," I thought.
Mulling the possibility over in my head, I asked my husband a few reasonable and rather valid questions:
How far are we driving? Not far.
Must I comb my hair? No.
Do I need pants? It would be preferable.
I conceded to the drive.
Slowly I unfolded myself from the bed and turtle-stepped down the stairs and finally into the car.
The neighbors, who had gathered around our car, began to applaud my heroic efforts (that part may have been a hallucination).
With head pounding, ears blocked, throat swollen, body aching and eyes barely open, we began our drive.
Slowly but slowly, I began to notice my surroundings...miles upon miles of road, geese flying in formation, a blue sky punctuated by a bright sun, and the last remnants of fall colored trees.
Opening my window to catch the cool air on my face, my daughter cued up some Van Morrison music.
Suddenly I was transported.
Flying down the road, wind in my face, sun in my eyes...not a care in the world...
there was beauty all around and the pain in my body seemed to disappear.
My focus had shifted.
And with that shift came the space to see once again what had always been there: life, in all its splendor.
On a Sunday morning drive, I found peace again...and joy...and beauty...I found home.
I had forgotten that,
as the body returns to well-being time and time again,
so too does the mind.