“In All Its Moods I see Myself…”
Yesterday after a perfectly lovely day—in fact a day more perfect than most, my energy dropped. And so I rested and waited for it to return. After a couple of hours I could feel it trickling back into my body ever so slowly…why? Why did I unexpectedly lose energy and then regain it? It wasn’t fully back until this morning, when I began thinking about energy flowing… and how it ebbs and flows in our bodies like moving water.
We may think we know why it’s happening, but is it true? Of course, when it ebbs we assume certain things: perhaps we need more rest, food, vitamins, a call to a friend, or any number of things? And there is always the fear—will my energy return? When? At times when the ebb-tide is long and shallow I question: Is this what old age—or depression feels like? Or even dying?
And then there’s the flow of energy returning inward... sometimes I feel it returning quickly and other times it seems so long before the well is full again. What a blessed relief when it fills up! Most times I just chalk it up as a return to normal. When one is ill, it can take weeks, months, or years to feel that inflowing energy again. Now that’s depressing. Here's where trust comes in; and that's not easy.
Perhaps what is most unusual to explain are the hours and moments when I feel electrified with energy, grace and curiosity. It happened a few days ago while talking with some people at a party. I was inordinately interested in them and their lives. I was excited by everything they said and it felt as if there were internal sparks of joy radiating from within me. It didn’t go unnoticed. At the end of the evening people commented on how good I looked; how happy and healthy and…on and on they went! I simply took it as a complement, but I was curious as to why…
What is this when a ‘joie de vivre’ infuses everything? Is that a touch of mania? Why do I frame it in terms of illness rather than mood or situation? I could say I’m happy and energized (or unhappy and depleted) because of such and such and so and so—searching the horizon for a cause or person to blame or eulogize. But is that really true?
I think not. I’m putting a spin on a state of consciousness that is essentially a mystery. And don’t we love mysteries? Mysteries that are a gift of grace? Sure, I’ll check in with my body and soul, my emotions and situation. But I’ve come to believe it’s not so simple, and not as knowable as I once thought. I’ve come to see this movement like the ebb and flow of the tides…giving me time to slow down, wait, and stand on the shores of my life… giving thanks for wherever the inner ocean takes me. It takes trust.
“My moods are like the sea and the tides, they ebb and flow, while I stand on the shore and watch. I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild, I have seen the sea when it is calm and serene, and in all its moods, I see myself.” E. Spring