This has been a difficult few days. Sitting…waiting…just “Be-ing” in the moment and yet at the same time feeling restless. Where is this restlessness coming from? I watch my friend tossing and turning in her hospital bed. She cannot get comfortable too many tubes too many interruptions… vital signs. Even the slightest move…even in slow motion takes every ounce of energy from her frail body. I try to help, but where do I place my hands to not cause her more discomfort? Sometimes even the next breath takes all of her energy.
I look into her eyes. I feel her frustration and pain? I speak to her in gentle kind loving words…how is this? Is your head comfortable on the pillow? I gently bring the covers up around her shoulders…trying to keep out the cold air. She is so cold. I wish I could warm her with the very breath from my own body.
When I was little I remember having little ribbon streamers attached to the end of my bicycle handle bars. When you rode fast into the wind the streamers would blow and twirl around. It was so much fun!
We did not have air condition when I was little so a fan in every room was the norm. You could tie thin ribbons on the grill of the fan. Once you turned on the fan the ribbons would blow out from the grill and ripple in the wind.
I was just across the hall from my friend in her home. She has finally gone into a deep restful sleep. I am tossing and turning…restless… I cannot get into a comfortable position.
Then it happened; as my body settled down my mind entered into this restless state. Memories, but not like a movie or a scrapbook page. These memories came as ribbon streamers. Each ribbon a different color bearing the written account of a time we’ve had together. I could clearly see the printed words some larger than others…some written in bold type.
The ribbons were blowing, swirling, dancing perhaps in my mind. Swirling as if some undetected source was generating a breeze in my head keeping the streamers in constant motion…restless…
Eventually we are both taken into sleep…taken away from our own uncomfortable restlessness of body and mind.
I wonder, if this restlessness is part of the dying process…is this restlessness a symptom of our resistance to surrender? Sleep became the salve for her restlessness and eventually for mine too.
St. Augustine says, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”
I know in my heart that God has a plan…we just need to be patient within our restlessness…more than once Jesus calmed the restless waters…speaking words of peace…Be not afraid, for I am with you. The familiar music drifts into my heart”…I go before you always…”
How do you handle restlessness in your life?