In an ever changing sequence of events, my mom’s recovery saga took yet another turn last week. After a few days in outpatient rehab mom was back in the hospital, tired and exhausted, and apparently in need of a good rest. At first we panicked, thinking it was a turn for the worse. Finally she woke up from snoring sleep sessions to tell us she was fine. She has a couple more hurdles to clear, but thankfully she is growing stronger every day.
When this latest challenge presented itself last week my mind and body had a few bad days. I was worrying constantly and having trouble sleeping; all the usual reactions to stress. In a moment of clarity, I remembered a special place from our trip to Greece five years ago. During that divine excursion my mom, sisters and I were privileged to witness something that still stays with me to this day.
We were all in a rental car with our native cousin Stavros. He took us for a ride up a mountainside, parking along the berm of a twisty road. I got out of the car and could only see trees, rocks and gorgeous sky. Stavros told us to follow him. My mom held onto us as we descended downward on a simple path of stones. I remember the dirt ground was littered with olive pits. I silently wondered if the birds ate lunch there.
A small white washed church came into view at the bottom of the stone path. It was so beautifully unexpected, so hidden, so precious. We stood in awe while Starvros retrieved the key and opened the small wooden door.
Inside it was tiny, simple and just as special. There was a small altar with icons. We lit candles and Starvros said a prayer. We stayed awhile to bask in the glow of being in such a holy place.
Can you imagine how this memory grounds me? Perhaps it was the beauty, or maybe it was the sacred holiness of such a special place. All I know is it was a huge gift. In my mind, I can run back to that little church any time I want and light a candle for me, my mom, anyone.
I leaned on that little church last week when every last bone in my body was tired and weary. Having a special place where we can go, even if only in our mind, can sometimes make all the difference in the world.
Do you have a special memory or place that grounds you? Tell me about it!