Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time.~Sarah Young
I remember being fascinated that my late, mostly lab Emma, would spend countless hours on the couch looking out the living room window. She loved this "activity." Sometimes she would doze, other times she would emit a few barks if a squirrel scampered across the grass. Often I would note her head moving from side to side as if scanning for something important. I loved that she could remain peaceful with such rudimentary entertainment.
During my second week in Italy I found myself in a similar situation. Learning from Emma. I awakened one morning of that second week feeling horrible. I'd felt exhausted and weak the night before, but believed it was from a busy day of visiting and walking in the brisk air of the little town of Cremona, near our house in the Italian countryside. This was not the case. I could barely breathe, yet my nose ran like a faucet. I felt like someone had stepped on me. Flattened. I knew I wasn't strong enough to carry out the day's activities. "Giovanni, I have to cancel our plans with your sister." And so Giovanni left me there supplied with "fazzoletti" (Kleenex) and cold medication to recover.
And it was then I learned the comfort of looking out the window. I was disappointed that I'd fallen ill. I couldn't "do anything." So I opened the large wooden window in our bedroom. A light breeze floated in, and blue sky filled the window's rectangular shape. A few feathery clouds glided silently by. I could see an expansive green field that went for miles. Birds gathered on the tree branches. They fluttered and chirped intermittently. The sun poured through the window and warmed my face, almost like God cupping my cheek. Consoling. Church bells rang the time on the hour, their melody like a narration of praise on an ordinary day. I gave in to the moment and let the relaity of my now be as it was. And there is a sort of holy and curious mystery in allowing for whatever the day brings--a heightened sense that God is not remote--that He is near.
And so it was not just one day that I spent looking out my window. There were four days. I took comfort in the sanctuary of our quaint house, the high ceilings creating a feel somewhat like a monastery. I spent many hours looking out the window and continued to accept again and again that I couldn't go anywhere. That would be for another time. Giovanni, unfortunately became ill as well, so we spent some companionable time helping each other. I read all the old love letters he'd kept from our romance those years ago. We counted all the cities we've walked together over our history. It was metaphorically looking out the window at our relationship. A balm--a salve that we continue to love each other deeply, despite our difficulties and imperfections.
But we still had a few days in Italy. Out time wasn't quite up. We began to feel better. But that is a story to be saved for another post.