I know I’m sick when I don’t want to take photos or eat; I know something is amiss when I go out to eat at a northern New Mexico restaurant and order chicken soup instead of blue corn cheese enchiladas.
Monday I started feeling achy and tired and nauseous. By Monday night I knew that I was really ill and went to bed the minute I arrived at my casita in Taos. On Tuesday, I already had an appointment with Bonnie, a massage therapist with healing hands, and since I was pretty sure it was altitude sickness and I wasn’t contagious, I kept the appointment.
Her diagnosis? With the severe cold (below zero since I started traveling last Thursday) along with altitude change from Houston (49 feet) to Bend (3700 feet) to Denver (mile high) to Taos (7000 feet) plus coming on this trip worn out from this past autumn, I had a good dose of altitude sickness.
One of my daily devotionals for Advent is one written by Jan Richardson with her husband Gary, “Illuminated 2013: An online journey into the heart of Christmas.” In today’s blessing there is a line: for the older woman who “feels in her flesh the measure of her days.”
When we are younger, we look back on our lives and delight in all of the things we used not to be able to do that now we can. There’s another point in our lives, if we are given the gift of years, that we are aware of the things we used to do but now can’t.
This itinerary of Advent travel would have been little challenge a few years ago, but this year it has laid me flat. However, I find myself not grieving this change. I can float and dance with the things that I can’t do and be aware of the many gifts of life that God continues to pour down on me.
Meanwhile, I have a beautiful place to rest and my best friend has fetched me bland foods. It is really too cold to spend much time outside, and we have a tablefull of crafts we brought to do. I am hour by hour feeling better and the slower pace is most appropriate for an Advent rest of waiting.
In a little bit we’ll drive to a potter friend’s for tea and tomorrow it will be warmer. This may not be the trip we’d planned but it is perfect for today.
I am an Episcopal priest serving as Missioner for Congregational Vitality in the Diocese of Texas and a Benedictine Oblate of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana. I'm also an eighth generation Texan. My daughter, The Homesick Texan, has moved back home to Texas. My son and his wife live in Bend, Oregon, with my two grandsons who call me Grandma Texas.
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One thought on “Advent Sickness”
Feel better Rev. Beth! So happy that you're able to find the joy regardless of how you're feeling physically.