“If you want, we can put on a movie.”
“Yes. Yes that is exactly what I want. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to move. I need to just sit still and let my insides stop racing.”
We were sitting outside in our outdoor living room. We are in experimentation mode when it comes to our backyard. We have gone through Gyspy Fort 1.0 and 2.0 which are basically glorified sheet forts like I made as a kid. Currently the Gypsy Fort has been put on hold while we play around with the Gypsy Palace, a tent like structure given to us by that kind Goodwill donation man. He has been known to periodically offer up the best treasures to his storefront neighbors, which just happens to be my Love Interest’s bicycle shop.
On this particular night we had an air mattress with soft sheets set up for a tent floor. I was semi-reclining on it at the end of a long weekend. My kids were in bed. My to-go chipotle and vanilla coke were within arm’s reach. I was slowly beginning to feel the ache of my legs from being on my feet all weekend and the swirl of my head from the adrenaline rush of being “on duty” in a fast-paced environment.
I sunk into the corner of the air mattress and tried to exhale slowly. It felt unfamiliar. My body wasn’t trusting yet that it was allowed to let down. Doesn’t somebody need me? Won’t something go undone?
I watched the flames of the tiki torches flicker. Saw the fire of the Buddha candle dance.
Sshhh…You have worked hard. Rest now.
Still my insides crawled.
The sound of the movie was hard to hear on the laptop, and I found it annoying. I was having trouble swallowing my food because my throat felt constricted with anticipation of some unknown something looming in the future and needing my instantaneous response. A giant spider was camping out in the corner of the tent, and I kept darting my eyes back to the shadows to see if she was still there.
Sshhh…You have worked hard. Rest now.
We were watching Under the Tuscan Sun, a movie near and dear to the heart of Blushing Wild, but I had never seen it.
My Love Interest plugged in a speaker for the laptop which solved the sound problem, and at some point I got swept up in the story. My food swallowing started going better. I forgot completely about the spider. (Okay, that’s not true, but I did at least come to grips with the fact that it would be okay if we shared the tent.) We propped my back up with a footstool and I found myself getting significantly comfier.
By the time this little exchange of dialogue in the movie happened I was thoroughly enjoying myself:
Katherine: It’s a nice little villa. Rather run down, but redeemable. Are you going to buy it?
Frances: No, no, no. I’m, I’m just a tourist. Here for the day.
Frances: Well, I mean who wouldn’t want to buy a villa in Tuscany. But, uh, the way my life’s been going, that would be a terrible idea.
Katherine: Terrible idea. Mmmmm… Don’t you just love those?
I whipped my head around to look at my Love Interest, as if to say, “Did you just hear that?”
He smiled and said, “Oh, this movie just got really good for you.”
* * *
I don’t think rest always comes easily. I think a lot of times at the outset it looks like whining and resisting and reeling and wiggling.
It looks like my 5-year-old son seated at the bar at the coffee shop yesterday where he was enjoying a chocolate chip cookie after school and trying to do his kindergarten homework while climbing on the stool, off the stool, on the stool, off the stool much to my chagrin.
And my body at the outset is often saying, like the kindergardener told me, “It is impossible for me to sit still. IMPOSSIBLE.”
And it is. Until it isn’t.
Until one little thing shifts and my body and my mind are offered a portal out of the hustle and bustle of responsibility and they actually vulnerably agree that yes, perhaps it would be okay for me to just let go and not be “on call” for a spell. It’s right about then that the ornery Cheshire Cat smile spreads across my face.
It’s when I say, “Oh, this moment just got really good for me.”
To rest is to surrender and one has to go willingly if it is to be enjoyed.
“Listen, when I was a little girl I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.”
- Under the Tuscan Sun