Now - I tend to believe that most illness is psychosomatic (voice of a sergeant major in the background "Pull yourself together boy!"), which means that whenever I get ill my main project is to ask myself 'why?'.
Actually, this isn't as neurotic as it might seem(!). I think this time, which was the first 'proper' illness I've had since coming to Mersea, was simply God saying 'take a break', or, more precisely, 'let go'. The key shift was pulling out of the Learning Church and the Remembrance service (which I should now be preparing to take, rather than writing this blog entry - but then, I do think that 'should' is the language of Satan). It was learning, again, the lesson that nobody is indispensable - and that it is OK to disengage. Which meant that when I finally stopped fighting it and trying to get myself back into the saddle for the weekend - and wrapped myself up in a duvet for 48 hours without trying to do anything else significant - the illness finally started to shift. Still there to some extent - especially a pain in my lungs/ sore throat - but the lethargy has gone. Mostly.
I think I might look back on this (especially as I'm due to go on retreat next week) as a time of transition - the beginning at Mersea is well and truly over. Only a few weeks ago I felt myself start to relax and think 'yes, this is going OK' - and I'm sure it is precisely that relaxation somewhere in my soul which allowed this illness to get a foothold. Let God, and all that.
Various things have started to clarify though - and there is a lot that I want to write about. Stay tuned!