First thing out the door this morning, my pace was brisk. It wasn’t cold, but I wanted to fend off any cold that might be coming. I do that. I sometimes live, not for this moment, but in preparation for the next moment.

No big deal, when one wants to stay warm for 15 miles of walking. But 60 minutes into the day, with gloves and hat removed, I was still keeping the same pace.

I uttered the words, “St. Augustine, come now!” I was recalling his famous words, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” I figured if he knew a bit about restlessness, perhaps he could walk along side me for awhile and help me get with the program.

This lyric came to me (melody and all!)

     St. Augustine quickly come
          Won’t you tell me where and when
          All my restlessness will end                            
          Tears of sorrow, Tears of joy
          The difference I might comprehend                                                                                           If the restlessness would end

     I get these little soul attacks                          
          They happen to me everyday
          Then everything inside reacts
          And I lose my way
          I get these little heart attacks
          I find it hard to breathe
          Then everything inside reacts
          What a destiny
          St. Augustine I can’t see
          What the devil’s got on me
          Will there ever be a when
          All my restlessness will end

At first I thought, “Well, Gus! Nice to have you here, but you didn’t really take the restlessness away.” He laughed (in my imagination). But what did I expect? Nothing really. Getting the song lyric was gift enough and feeling as if Gus was whispering in my ear was a bonus…Dayenu!

There’s more to the song than that. But suffice it to say, I often experience the feeling of being wrapped up in a container, a bag of sorts, desperate to get out. The more I struggle, the worse it gets. It’s only when I stop, breathe, and slowly work myself out of the container that I ever have any success.

And while my logical, rested, normal self doesn’t believe some demon is yanking my chain, holding me down, causing me to walk too fast, sleep too little, or work too many hours…there is this thing, this unnameable entity that somehow creeps in, causes a stir and then exits so quickly, that I’m certain the stir is coming from me. Is it a demon? Is it my lesser self begging for a bit of attention? Even the lesser self wants a little of my time.

No matter what it is. The moments of restlessness arrive.

So why is it a gift?

They say naming the problem is 80% of solving it. And sure enough, when I stopped in my tracks, chuckled, realizing I was walking way to fast, I thought, “Man I’m restless.” And the rest…well you know the rest.

Thank you St. Augustine.

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  • Benita Valadez October 18, 2016, 4:49 pm

    Been following your walk, a walk I hope to make someday soon before my illness (lupus) gets the best of me. I’m praying that you find peace and enjoy the rest of your journey. Burn camino!!!!