“I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Psalm 121.
A couple of times a year I reach a point where I become tired beyond the remedy of a single night’s sleep. This is how I feel today. If sleep is the ultimate passive way to recover from tiredness, these particular moments require a more active recovery strategy. I need a recharge, a reset, a full restart. An extra nap, while tempting, does not fit the bill.
Fortunately, I know the approach I will take this weekend, and I am certain it will be successful. Tomorrow, my wife, daughter and I will head to the North Carolina mountains. Only a couple of hours away, this high ground has always and will always provide the sort of existential recovery I seek. Being in such a lovely locale (even in the rain that is forecast) has the power overcome the exhaustion I feel. Sharing the journey with my family only makes it better.
I wonder why this is true and why I am so confident in its truth. Perhaps the answer comes from another RE-word: re-center. By the time I turned fourteen or so, the mountains had come to represent a place where I built my perspective and where my sense of self was sustained and bolstered. Down below I could lose my perspective and forget what was important. Somehow in the mountains I felt more centered.
My current sort of tired sort is not directly related to hours of sleep lost—it is, I believe, more borne out of a temporary loss of perspective on what is most important. Normal recovery from tiredness involves closing our eyes—in this case, however, it involves opening them.