I had no idea I was this tired.
On Wednesday, I left Seattle at noon and flew to San Antonio, where I met up with the neuroscientist and would-be comedian John Medina for a hilarious and enlightening two-hour ride out to Laity Lodge, deep in the heart of Texas.
We got to the lodge around ten, and I went straight to my room, unpacked my things, and read Evening Prayer. When I fell into bed, the clock on the nightstand read 11:08.
Next morning, I woke with a start when a key rattled in my bedroom door. I leaped out of bed. The door opened a few inches, a voice called from down the corridor, and the door fell shut. I heard footsteps padding away from my room and heaved a relieved sigh that I hadn’t been caught sleeping so late.
I knew it was late because sunshine streamed through the curtains, but I had no idea how late until I looked at the clock. It read 11:08. And it was not broken. I know. I checked.
After lunch, I came back to my room and read for a bit. I still felt tired, so I lay down, just for a few minutes, and woke up almost three hours later. I felt annoyed. I’d come to the retreat a day early so I could acclimate myself to the Lodge and write. Instead all I’d manage to do was sleep.
Thursday evening, after dinner and the plenary session, I came back to my room and got ready for bed. Even though I was still tired, I decided I’d write my Friday blog post before turning in for the night, so it would be ready to publish first thing in the morning. I opened Diary of an Old Soul; George MacDonald nearly always gives me good words to ponder and chew. The verse for September 27 read:
On, eager, hungry, busy-seeing child,
Rise up, turn round, run in, run up the stair.
Far in a chamber from rude noise exiled,
Thy father sits, pondering how thou dost fare.
The mighty man will clasp thee to his breast:
Will kiss thee, stroke the tangles of thy hair,
And lap thee warm in fold on fold of lovely rest.”
I blinked. I read the words again, lingering on the final three lines, then on the last line. Thoughts of my blog post flitted through my head, and as if in answer, a still, small voice said, It can wait. It can wait.
I shut the book, turned out the light, and crawled into bed. Pulling the white sheet and coverlet up over my chest, I closed my eyes and imagined being lapped warm in fold on fold of lovely rest. The dark room went darker still, and I slept.
Florilegium comes from two Latin words, meaning flower (flor) and gather (legere). Legere is closely related to the Latin word for reading (lectio). So a florilegium is literally a gathering of the flowers of reading: a collation of the best words, the best books.
I hope you’ll come by every Friday to gaze on some beautiful heart-mind-and-soul flowers. (And stop in at Susan’s, too, for another bouquet).