Good morning kind souls.
When I popped in on Tuesday I thought I was on the mend. In reality I was only coming up for air. This flu was a bugger, shape shifting from the standard spiking fever and deep aches variety to something evil that dwells in the intestines.
I do not exaggerate when I say there were moments when I thought I might die.
Lord have mercy. That was really exceptionally hard.
Pete suggested it was a metaphor for the changes we're going through. The purging, the release, the surrender to the now. And maybe it is.
For me it has so many layers that went simply beyond "the sickest I've ever felt". The layers that go so much deeper – into what I value, how I see myself, and how I relate to my family.
I know. Heavy, right? It was just the flu. Pete has always told me I'm an over-thinker.
But here's the kick. It was the flu a week before Solstice. Solstice. Our big celebration. Solstice. The holiday I stay up late into the night crafting magical things for my family – my kids in particular. Solstice. when I pull out all of the crafty stops.
And I was too sick to even knit.
Adorably decorated farm house? Nope. Gluten-free holiday treats? Not happening. Handmade Solstice gifts? Um, no.
And that last one. That was huge for me.
I can't exactly explain why it's so important to me. I guess for me "making" is like love encarnate. It's one really tangible way that I express myself.
I can't make up for last week. I spent six days and six nights in bed. To get done what was on my list, last week was vital. Without it I need to scrap the list and regroup.
I actually had one feverish night where I had knitting nightmares. Somethings about scratchy wool and tangles of yarn with dramatic lighting and dark music. I was trying so hard to finish my kids gifts in time and I already knew it was a lost cause.
We don't do many gifts on Solstice. But we do make them by hand.
So to give that up and throw in the needles (so to speak) was an emotional moment for me. To call the kids in and say, "This year, I just can't do it." felt like failure. Like I was letting them down. But the reality is that it's so inconsequential to them. We haven't made this be a gift-centered celebration, so it was no big deal. They'd rather have more time to snuggle with me and read books and maybe even bake a batch of cookies. They don't need the presents. They just want the celebration.
What I also realized is just how rarely I put myself first. And doing that this past week was vital. I really had no other choice.
And you know, putting myself first once in a while might be downright healthy. (Ya think?)
So maybe this flu has changed me.
Maybe I'll find a way to continue being sensitive to the needs of those I love, but also to awaken to my own.
P.S. The Winter Apothecary will be released tomorrow! And it's lovely. Thanks for your kind contributions.