The Dark Night

The third day blues. Inevitable. A doctor friend called it the day of reckoning.

A restless night with bad dreams, fear, pain, questioning with periods of drifting off to sleep and light dozing so as not to completely wake me up, rather keep me that ‘dark night’ space.

I sit watching the sun set on another day here in the hospital. My room mate went home so I have this large space on my own to reflect and connect, to sleep and hold myself close. No visitors are allowed due to Covid restrictions so the whole place is very quiet. There are no beeping machines, or reminders that I am in a medical centre except for the cannula in my left hand and my name tag on my right.

I would rather not welcome in the fears, the stories that frighten me, memories from the past, the questions and concerns around the state of the world and all the other threads that weave through this life in the work I do and the life I lead. And yet, I know deep in my heart it is the only thing to do. To be present to what it is. I keep quiet. I breathe. I sigh a deep breath out. It feels uncomfortable. I don’t want it to be there. I say yes to that too. I hear you. My mind quietens.

I breathe lots of love in. Lots of love out. My mind wanders and I come back to it again and again. I groan with the pain in my body and I open to awareness of what is here. Where is the pain? Can I feel it? I feel like I have had ‘major surgery’… which I have. My son who is a surgeon told me some of the procedure. Ew. Maybe that stirred the nausea I had today. Yet, in acknowledging the procedure I had a bit of a ‘yarn’ with my body as my dear friend Aunty Bea would say. Yarning it up. I imagine it was a bit of a shock to the system and I felt glad for the conversation.

I held my abdomen with care. My ovaries, tubes and uterus have given me the gift of three children all born at home. Beautiful, supported births and today, feels not too different to the post partum third day baby blues. Tiredness. Aching. Melancholic.

Yet, at 60, I feel blessed they didn’t bring out a baby for me to have to care for in this moment. I reflect back to my young 4 year old grandson who recently had his appendix out and how it must have been for him to get through the pain and procedures. He, too would have had the gas to inflate his abdominal area. The referred pain up into the shoulders is intense. I hold him and his mum, who held him, close.

I think of others in this hospital, in other hospitals. Those not able to have access to hospitals and in need. So much suffering. Again, I turn to my practices as the overwhelm feels tangible. I breathe and hold close to love. To kindness. To the ground. To the breath.

The day is done. Another day past. Time for me to rest again.

A friend asked me for the reading I offered in my last meditation group. It feels sweet to share it here.

Walk Slowly – Danna Faulds

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.


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Lucia vigiani
Lucia vigiani
2 years ago

Beloved Wendy great woman i send you all my love and i hope you can go back home soon stronger with these great experience in witch you are embracing strenght and weakness…. big hug from Florence

2 years ago

That sounds familiar Wendy – the drug assisted euphoria of the first 48 hours replaced by a massive low. Confidence replaced by doubt, resolve replaced by fear. But this too will pass – be kind to yourself – use your practice skills and knowledge when you can but also allow yourself to seek external help for pain or sadness if needed. You will soon be heading home for some proper rest and recovery. Meanwhile love is all around you.

Sally cant
Sally cant
2 years ago

Rest rest and more rest dear Wendy. Each day brings its own challenges – some expected and some new ones. Stay strong. Sending you lots of healing energy . Sal xo

Lynnie Robertson
Lynnie Robertson
2 years ago

Breathing in and out with you as you write so vividly from your hospital bed. Thankyou for your honesty, your vulnerability, your perspicacity. It’s hot up here today, the ocean is wild, the beach so gusty. Enjoy the air con and your window view. Sending big love and gentle hugs, Lynnie