I got a bit of a bollocking today (fairly well-deserved) from my manager. Ironically, it was for becoming too tired and failing to take a reasonable lunch break. There are worse things to get a bollocking for, but I had to admit that she’s right (as, annoyingly, she so often is) – taking a reasonable lunch break is yet another of the things that have fallen off the radar.
For a number of weeks, I had been eating lunch at my desk, and then taking my “lunch break” in the afternoon: walking to a nearby park, and spending half an hour in quiet. In prayer. In the deliberate re-membering of the fact that I dwell in the Sacred, and a mindful re-centring of myself in that. Sometimes I’ve used the rosary, as a way to still my mind downwards into prayer, a way of allowing the Spirit of the Divine within me to reach outwards and upwards to Itself. Other times I’ve just sat quietly.
But today was the first time in perhaps two weeks I’ve even taken my rosary out of its little velvet bag. It felt unfamiliar in my fingers, and then abruptly familiar, as though something in my mind had suddenly clunked into place. And likewise, turning my mind inwards to the rhythms of prayer was at once jarring and free. And as my mind ran through the accustomed prayers, and the smooth beads moved gently through my fingers, and my usually-whirring thoughts slowed, I found myself perilously close to tears.
I don’t know why that would be, other than describing them as the quick tears of profound fatigue. But it was more than that. It was a sense of homecoming, of rightness. Of the first nourishment after a long time of fasting, of famine. Of being known, of being loved. Of compassion. Of surrendering to the stillness of a moment stolen from the busyness of the day.
I didn’t feel particularly bad – they weren’t sad tears – but I walked back to work feeling more whole than I have for a long time. And grateful.