Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Becoming childlike


There is nothing more relaxing than resting in my daughter’s bed. While she’s at school, I often slip into her room and have a little lie down. From where I am nestled into the bedclothes, the ceiling looks far off. I feel safe and small, and my worries drift away. For a few precious minutes I am no longer the adult, with all the responsibilities it entails; instead I am a little girl with nothing on her mind. I watch the shadows dance on the wall; I listen to the wind; I may even have a nap. Fifteen minutes later I rise, refreshed, and get back to work.

There’s something about her bed that aids this. My own bed is an adult bed, and I share it with my husband. Our three children were all conceived in the bed, and the work of childbirth began there every time. At night, we lie there and talk about our hopes, our frustrations, our fears. In sad times, we’ve sobbed there and held each other tight; in hard times, we’ve lain there wondering who we have married, and why; and often, of course, we make love. There’s nothing wrong with our bed, but it’s full of adult memories.

On the other hand, my daughter’s bed is a child’s bed. It smells of sleep, and reminds me of flannelette pyjamas and stories, cuddles and night time songs. Nothing much to think about, nothing much to worry about, just gentleness and love. Through the physical act of lying there, I feel myself becoming receptive, trusting, hopeful, content.

Jesus said that to enter the mystery you must become childlike once again. Lying in my daughter’s bed, for those few precious minutes, I feel like I can almost let go.

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