They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that obstacles can suddenly make you realize how easy things have been for you.
To wit: the upper respiratory infection. (a/k/a the “common” cold)
While not a serious illness, it is one of those where each breath is taken with great effort, as though I’ve already run a race and am now trying to breath through a heavy towel. I am completely aware of each breath… something I normally strive to attain in meditation. Far from being peaceful and zen-like, though, the reality of it is exhausting.
Present moment awareness should make me more relaxed. It is a chance to disconnect from thought patterns and ground myself in the present. But this breath isn’t gentle. It drags me from whatever I’m doing with a gasp and a rattle. And it does this over and over and over throughout the day and night.
This chest cold has robbed me of my voice, my sleep and my balance, but it has given me a new appreciation for the work of my breath. It has forced me into the present moment and seems determined to keep me here. Hopefully I’ll learn the lesson.
In the meantime, I’ll be the phlegmy one with the bloodshot eyes on the couch.