I am sitting down to write this afternoon without the need of a cup of hot tea and honey, throat drops and anxiety over when the next coughing jag will attack. My last week has not been quiet when I've tried to talk, when I've tried to sleep. A late-winter/early spring allergy episode showed up uninvited as snow has melted and temperatures warmed. What I breathed in was not welcomed by my sinuses. They, in turn, made a mess of my soft palate. After a few days of this, a little light-bulb went on in my head. I got out my seasonal allergy medicine. I was on the mend within a day.
I know that I have allergies triggered usually by springtime pollens/molds. I have a routine of starting to take my allergy medicine in late April so as to be ready for the big onslaught in May. This year the timing was off. If I had been paying more attention to what was going on with the weather, and how that was affecting my body, I might have had a moment of revelation earlier to start my defensive routine. Because of several orbits of busyness, and much noisiness, the information escaped my notice.
This same thing happened to me several years ago, only it was December that time. Out of sync with my expectations, it was. I went to the doctor saying I thought I had a this-or-that. The doctor did a quick check and said it was allergies. Sure enough, the doctor was right.
Once again, I tell myself that I need to pay more attention, listen more carefully, be more heedful. I miss cues and signs. Quiet attentiveness helps us to notice.
Our theme for this week's reflection is “quiet.” It is salutary to let quietness embrace and allow for an informative and nurturing realm to surround us. Even more than just letting quietness be, intentionally fostering quietness is important. In quiet, with noise abatement, we are refreshed.
Quiet may be the settling of sound; the settling of sight; the settling of movement; the settling of emotions; the settling of spirit; the settling even of taste. One of the spiritual disciplines of the Lenten season is to fast. Fasting from any of the above can bring us into salutuary quiet.
How to enter in to quiet will vary by person and may vary according to what needs to be settled. Sometimes we need to be physically alone to be quiet. Sometimes having the presence of a trusted other person helps us to focus and to welcome in the quiet. What are some ways that you enter into quiet? Is it a special place that brings you to it? Is there a significant time?
In this fifth week of Lent and as we move toward Holy Week, we will be going through some regular routines. Perparing homes, church santuaries, yards and schedules for what we usually do this time of year. I invite us, though, to be quiet and to watch more deeply. Routines and rituals are good, but something may have changed as we approach that regular practice again this year. What might we be able to notice in the intentional quiet of calm, prayer, meditation, stillness? When practices of quiet are regular, they even operate subconsciously to help us out.
This past week, while my body was awry, there was a time of focused quiet somewhere that helped me to remember an important ally in my medicine. Somehow, even as I battled physically, through practices of quiet that are in my spirit, I was able to acknowledge a change that needed to take place in my overall wellness.
God's intention for us is to be well, to remember we are beloved. Quietness is a gift for us to meet anew or one means through which to be restored in that precious identity with Christ Jesus.
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“In quietness and trust shall be your strength” Isaiah 30:15.