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This is my 10th day of illness with the flu. I denied it at first, thought it might be a three-day cold that I could escape with vitamins, rest and fluids. I have not been ill in so long I can hardly remember….a year at least. The coughing continues, keeps me awake at night, challenges me to stay indoors – with myself.

I suppose I could consider that this has been a ten-day retreat – with many hours of silence, being alone, quieting my mind and stilling my body, watching snow fall outside the window – as if I could really do much else. I would make lemonade with this gift of alone silence, a very inexpensive retreat, a time to let go of imagined responsibilities and take care of the one person I could.

Most mornings I was able to do my meditation routine: journaling and Sunlight Qi Gong, facing east in the kitchen, knowing that the sun is there, behind the thick clouds.  I’m sure it is….a scientific fact, right?  Then prayer and meditation in the big black chair after reading a page of Ruth’s Time for Joy and a passage from Thay’s Understanding the Mind.

It is so comforting to have a morning practice of prayer and meditation, something I can do even when ill.  It restores my focus on living in this day, accepting the gifts life has to give me in this moment – a warm home, a loving husband, healthy happy children and grandchild, friends, the stark beauty of winter ice.  I am connected, at peace, hoping to be of service again soon.  My glass is always way more than half full.

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