It was a muggy summer afternoon in SW Florida, and I wheeled (yes, it is week 9 in the wheelchair) out to the veranda to savor some ice cold watermelon and watch the sleepiness of the afternoon. To my surprise, a flock of butterflies were dancing around the flowers, teasing each other, delighting in the day. They looked like mini-Monarchs and danced like tiny ballerinas during a dress rehearsal for their first ballet recital.
I called a friend, maybe to lament about my numerous naps (which I actually have come to enjoy) or to share with her the beauty of the summer day. She answered with a weak voice and I found out, she has been battling some virus and is in nap mode. Hmmm........
I told her about the butterflies. This was to be our butterfly summer. She had just retired from years as a nurse, and I had just completed (almost) my Hospital Chaplain internship, thereby reducing my workload from 2 1/2 jobs, to 1/2 job as a rabbi. We each had all sorts of great plans.
Heck -- my kayak is probably growing moss awaiting my return.
So we decided that we were going to play cocoon now to store up our strength and heal ourselves and then, shortly, we would emerge as beautiful, playful, dancing butterflies.
And of course, we must take cocooning seriously. This is easy for me. I am famous for making a sleep nest. It involves (in SW Florida, step one is turning on the air conditioner, unless it is the one cold night in winter) and rolling myself up in a quilt, feet, head, body, all covered. Maybe I sleep so well in my nest because I have cut off my supply of oxygen and I just pass out. But it just feels real safe and snug and peaceful. Newborn babies are less anxious when they get papoose wrapped in their little cocoons or nest, why not adults?
And "taking to the bed" is always a fun game -- gathering books (Kindle), knitting, ipod, drinks, maybe a snack, (puppies if my beloved is not about) -- and just tucking in and pampering for a period of time.
Part of me feels like I am "wasting time" -- not being out and about; but then my spiritual saner side, tells the wild wind gypsy side to savor down time as rest, renewal, and re-energizing time -- a time of healing and spiritual growth. And so I am learning to listen.
With watermelon stains on my shirt, I am off to yet another napzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.