“I Was In Great Need of a Pilgrimage,
So I Sat Still for Three Days.
And the Creator Came To Me.”

Kabir of India

( a zoomed up shot of a ruby throated hummingbird in need of a little rest / Julie Cook / 2016

About two or so weeks ago, I did something to my back.
I don’t remember exactly where or when or even what…
yet I do know it was about two weeks ago when it started bothering me.

At first I figured, it would go away.
Pop a few Motrin, rub some of that Australian Dream cream on it, a little Tiger balm…
I’d smell to high heaven, but I’d be good to go.

Well none of that helped.

Time for the heating pad….

I was uncomfortable sleeping, sitting, riding, driving, moving…
however standing helped a little.
That was then…standing is now in the negative column.

It’s only been in the lower left flank area.
So I ruled out muscular while considering things a bit more ominous.

As I’ve had issues with osteo-arthritis and issues with a bad disk in my neck.
I quickly chalked it up to that…
More motrin…

It’s ebbed and flowed.
It’d ease off and I’d think, “yay, today is the day it doesn’t hurt,”
then I’d get up, stand or move…
back to tiger balm and a heating pad….

I began to ponder kidney stones, although I’ve never suffered with such.
But it didn’t seem to be my back really, more left flank at the hip area.
Maybe it’s scar tissue from an almost 25 year old hysterectomy….
More motrin.

In the middle of the night last night, when I got up to head to the bathroom…
of which seems to plague both babies and us older people…
I discovered that my husband had left that proverbial lid up—
after 34 years of marriage, you’d think he’d have had that whole up and down business figured out….
while I was trying to lower the lid, making certain I did not go for an in the dark dunking, something torqued… and not in a good way.

After lying in pain for the next 4 hours,
I finally decided to call the doctor’s office when they opened at 9AM

“She’s had a cancelation, can you be here by 10:45?” the receptionist asks.

I was there at 10:30.

I got called back at noon.

This is why I don’t call the doctor for appointments.

While I was sitting in the exam room, grimacing and waiting…
I spied a calendar pinned to the wall.
It was a normal calendar, not some sterile medical job…
The picture was a colorful painting of some comical chickens with the quote:

“I Was In Great Need of a Pilgrimage,
So I Sat Still for Three Days.
And the Creator Came To Me.”

Kabir of India


How novel…
that the idea of needing a pilgrimage would / could in turn necessitate the thought of merely sitting.

Who knew?!

I managed an automatic smile, even in my state of pain filled delirium, at the marvelous simplicity.

Who among us, in this western hurry up and go culture of ours, thinks that
a retreat, a pilgrimage or a spiritual journey is all about simply sitting??

We’d all be busy immediately looking into travel plans…
Looking, googling, researching and booking on trivago, travelocity, kayak…
we’d scour social media in search of that most magical and marvelous place…
only the best and most spiritual of places to go…
Cause isn’t that what a pilgrimage is all about, going someplace?
As in seeking out peace, enlightenment and /or nirvana….???

Yet there in plain site, in that little cold waiting room, was the answer
to our culture’s constant questing for all things greater than ourselves…

A marvelous revelation sitting on that comical little chicken calendar…

“Be still and know that I am God”



32 comments on “still

  1. David says:

    Love the quote Julie. I have two questions:
    1. How is your back now?
    2. Does Gregory get annoyed if you leave the seat down? (John regularly winds his sister up when she is home by leaving the seat up. I am sure he does it as sport.)

    • she’s treating the back like its a herniated disc—two shots and some muscle relaxers…not much help—I fear I must simply wear this thing out—lest it wear me out first!
      and you tell me David—does Marilyn not have you trained …eh ; )

      • David says:

        Ouch! Marilyn has trouble with one arm at the moment. I forget what they diagnosed but the tablets are not working so she will have to have an x-ray. And yes, I am fully trained. Far easy to read the paper sitting down!

      • Now I’ve not heard about Marilyn’s arm…
        What did she do?
        No, the tablets will not work because they no longer give tablets that will work because so many younger folks were taking (stealing) the tablets, selling them or using them themselves..leaving those who really need something strong out on a limb—our doctors really try not to prescribe pain meds anymore if at all possible because of those who became addicted—but I would greatly appreciate one right about now πŸ™‚

      • David says:

        She doesn’t know what happened – only that one arm is painful if she lifts it too high. The tablets the doc gave her also upset her stomach so she had to have extra tablets to counter that. We’ll wait and see if the x-ray shows anything.

  2. DJ says:

    What was wrong with your hip???? You aren’t supposed to leave people hanging like that!! 😜

    • I thought about that…but the ending was simply to powerful for a “by the way…”
      but she’s treating it as a herniated disc—she gave me two shots and some muscles relaxers—not much difference today—but that whole being still I’ve decided shall be key πŸ™‚

      • DJ says:

        I have arthritis in my hips. It’s horrible. I do the same treatment. That’s why I had to know. Lol. You can also put the bottom of your feet together in a sitting position with your elbows on your knees and lean forward. It will stretch them out. 😊

      • oooo, I will try that …anything has got to help πŸ™‚

      • DJ says:

        I know right!!! Have a great day. πŸ™‚

  3. says:

    I am wondering about your back as well. I have had kidney stones and each one has provided me with a variety of symptoms. What did you discover at the Dr. other than the wisdom received from the calendar? Hope you’re doing better. Love the pictures. God has amazing lighting.

    • she’s going with a herniated disc for now—she ruled out kidney stones—my son suffers with those from time to time—but thankfully I never have—I just get arthritis and bad discs πŸ™‚

  4. Wally Fry says:

    I hope you are better!

  5. Karen says:

    It seems we all wanted to know what was causing the pain. I do hope you are feeling better very soon. Who would think you could get such wisdom from a calendar with a chicken, but I must say it and your words are both wise. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Karen, I knew I needed a PS at the end but didn’t want to steal the impact of the ending words– which for this disc issue, or whatever it is-the idea of it being time to be still seems front and center– your yard looks great by the way– we had landscaping done last spring after losing our two ancient oaks– being our yard man, it looks great but is now a bear for me to keep up!!!!

  6. Praying for you Julie. We have a close friend who seems to be going through the same thing.

  7. A beautiful post Julie. I hope you feel better soon.

  8. I know exactly what you did to hurt your back. Remember about two weeks ago when you went on a frenzy and did all that digging and planting in one day? That was it because you complained about your back when you got done that day. Love the opening quote and do hope your back stops hurting soon. Love and hugs, N πŸ™‚ ❀

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