Last week I ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store. After the customary “Hi’s!!” and “How are you’s??” we then went on to give little updates about our post-holiday lives. It was at this point that I shared that I had been a little under the weather, but that I was feeling better, thank you so much for asking.
I used the expression “under the weather” because I wanted to be honest, but spare her the ugly details about the cough I had battled for two weeks after Christmas. Or how the nasty stomach bug and ensuing horrible head a couple weeks later felt like adding insult to injury. But while I might have shared a glossed-over version of the story with my acquaintance, my family got the unfiltered version. I complained to everyone that I felt like I had been for a month. On top of that I was grumpy and tired and generally unpleasant to live with.
In my defense though, it sucks being sick and not being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. So after allowing myself to wallow in a self-indulgent pity party for brief minute, I made it a priority to care for myself by nourishing my body with good food and getting plenty of rest. And thankfully I am feeling like myself again and no longer “under the weather.”
I got curious about the origin and etymology of this expression and here is what the internet told me:
The most popular theory about the origin of the idiom “under the weather” is from the maritime world. When a sailor became ill or seasick, often because of violent weather conditions, that sailor was sent below decks to the most stable part of the ship, which was under the weather rail. The phrase “under the weather rail” was shortened to the idiom “under the weather.”https://grammarist.com
Man I just love knowing trivial stuff like this.
Anyway, I was thinking about this expression while I was walking one day last week. I love the idea that taking refuge in the interior of boat offers relief because the rocking is less noticeable there.
I can’t say I’ve ever felt seasick from riding in a boat during a violent storm, but the past few months I’ve felt a little knocked around and heartsick by the storms of life. And it’s during times like this that I seek refuge in my faith and steady myself with the truth that I am seen and known and loved by a Good and Loving God. I’m also trying to care for my spiritual health with comforting and nourishing words.
My hope that by sharing my story today that it might encourage you in whatever storms you are facing or sickness you might be feeling. It turns out, that feeling under the weather might be the best place to be because it’s there that we are closest to God.