Ode to minor ailments

I have never had a strong constitution.  If I had existed within the dusty pages of an 18th century novel it is certain that I would have died of consumption within the first chapter or lingered on as the unfortunate sister of a more important character.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t suffer from any terminal illness, or in fact, anything very serious at all, but rather a reliable propensity to catch every little ailment that cares to come my way.

Now that I have been working within the childcare industry for 6 months whatever dysfunctional relationship I had with my immune system is now completely destroyed.  We are divorced, immune system and I, and I should probably update my facebook status to make it official.

A few years ago when I was in my third year of uni and wading my way through a knee height stack of art theory books, with a good dose of pneumonia on the side, my best bud and housemate came into my room to reverently hand me Leunig’s book “The Prayer Tree” turned to a poem called “The Common Cold”.

God bless those who suffer from the common cold.
Nature has entered into them;
Has led them aside and gently lain them low
To contemplate life from the wayside;
To consider human frailty;
To receive deep and dreamy messages of fever.
We give thanks for the insights of
this humble perspective.
We give thanks for blessings in disguise.

Amen.

At the time I took it as a typically optimistic effort of Miss E to lift me from my lumpish mood, but was clearly too concerned with postmodernism and existentialism to give it much thought.  Four years on, the irony of what is essentially an existential poem being dismissed on the grounds that it had little to do with my oh so important studies is not lost on me.

At this point in time when I have had something of a tumultuous month filled with flying back and forth, work, death, and illness I am trying to remember that although I may be laid low with many a viral and bacterial infection I have time to really experience the world outside my window, within my house and in fact within myself.

So thankyou E for your ‘right on’ way of looking at things, because if I hadn’t remembered to enjoy the rest illness offers me I would never have seen the beautiful sunset last night or discovered that it is my cat who is stealing grapes from the fruit bowl.

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