Once Upon a Sickness

This Christmastide all festivities took on a quiet celebration when several of us in our household came down with sickness. The large family doings were postponed and we were allowed to stay all snuggled in our beds.

In this post I’ll share the things I worked on while I was sick: A little story that came to me while I was sick; touching up a scene I captured at our local Nutcracker performance, finishing some little treasures I found on my daily walks, and finally, getting down on paper some sketches of the O Antiphons. The photos of the work will be interspersed throughout the story, and will include little captions about the photos.

When I Was Sick  or  Once Upon a Sickness 12/26/21 (This gurgled out after trying to think of sickness as something God uses for a greater good – kinda like the opportunity to take an interior journey: whether you’re traveling abroad physically, or sick at home -either way, you leave normal life behind you.

Once upon a time 

I was sick

And not just once 

but multiple times.

I was always very busy, 

said yes to many a job:

So that being sick 

became a relief – a rest from being on the go –

That very soon I preferred 

being sick to running to and fro.

A hasty sketch on scene! Our next door neighbor produced the Nutcracker, and her husband played Drosselmeyer while my little sisters played several parts.

In the beginning

I always hurried to get well,

Went back prematurely

And took longer to be my perky ol’ self.

Then off and on longer bouts.

Through these I began to see 

that certain things had to change

And the only one who could it was me.

In preparation for Christmas the Catholic Church’s liturgy prepares us with the O Antiphons: I tried to mediate on each one and ended up sketching them along the way. This sloppy title had paint washed over it!

I realized,

Sickness is a gift

A time to lay back, 


And think

And to see things I never saw before.

What possibly could 

Make this a gift?

And such a useful time?

Many questions I began to ask.

What has lead me to get sick?

What around me is a gift?

What do I appreciate now even more?

What do I see that I didn’t see?

The one on the left is my favorite! The Rolf Pott’s quote illustrates the travel mentality I was trying to nurture, not just in sickness, but in traveling through the Liturgical Year, “sightseeing” at each O Antiphon.

What can I now slowly 

process as I lay

here in my bed?

What to chew on in side my head?

What now threatens to 

take the peace away?

What threatens to distract 

me from these noticings?

Put aside all these distractions

that I am causing me,

The things that make

me feel drained and devoid.

This sickness is a time to 

enter within.

Now is the time

 Where thou shalt walk

In the garden of thy soul.

What do you notice in


What are the things you see

As you gaze within?

(A few jotted notes on 

Paper would make

This sickness post a 

Travel journal of sorts.)

Is someone waiting 

There in the garden

Within? There is someone.

And this is what he breathes:

He waits for you.

He waits for but a look from you.

He will sit and hear you, all your

Aches and pain.

Every moment of being 


Is a moment to enter


To allow for fallen frame

To take a break

And let the world rely

 upon grace

Surrendering to being sick

Becomes a joyful work 

of grace.

Then when sickness’ veil

Is lifted

And you are feeling

Back to self…

When you are

Called out of 

Your garden –

Ask him to remain

With you.

For was not your

Heart stirring

Within you

When you rested with

Him all through

Those sick days?

Now you can

Write in your 

Travel journal 

Of life

For these many

Days I was sick

With such and such a bug

And yet all along

Each of them, 

I got to sit with God.


That’s all folks! Quite a variety here today! Hope you enjoyed and Happy Epiphany!

Below, if you click on the picture, the link will take you to a book that was a huge source of inspiration in living interiorly during this time: Caryll Houselander’s Wood of the Cradle aka The Passion of the Infant Jesus.

When you click the pictures-link below, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for helping me! Thanks so much for helping me!

2 thoughts on “Once Upon a Sickness

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