I was reading a news article this morning about President-apparent Benigno Aquino III who is currently taking a week long hiatus after months of grueling campaign schedule so he can recharge and be ready as he takes his oath as the new President of the Philippines on June 30.
Hiatus – defined as a gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity. In linguistics, it is a slight pause that occurs when two immediately adjacent vowels in consecutive syllables are pronounced (ie naïve, reality). In Latin, a hiatus is “an opening, gaping mouth, or chasm.” It is derived from the verb “hiare” meaning “to gape or yawn.” Therefore, a “hiatus” is a gaping opening in anything, such as the opening in a cliff leading into a cave or a break in the conversation in which nothing happens or is said.
Most of us go through different forms of hiatus. For those seeking for spiritual solace, hiatus can be equated to a retreat – where one withdraws from the grind of daily work and take time to reflect, rest and pray. Between two people in a relationship, it is oftentimes called the ‘cool-off’ period. People who work and want a period of rest, it is called sabbatical. Students taking a year off to do something else, it is called gap year. It can be as long as hundreds of days or can be as short as 20-seconds stillness – both will lead us to a different dimension of personal awareness.
There are times when we don’t even realise that our lives are suspended in mid-air, floating, allowing just the wind and circumstances to blow our tired and weary souls either to oblivion or to the next possible chapter of our life story. Hiatus can be a physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual state – or it can be all at the same time.
How we fill the gap or what we do during the break is one thing. What we have learned during the break is another thing. But, how well we come to understand ourselves, knowing better what we want in life is the most important thing. Only then, can we love deeper, serve our society better and ultimately, be happier.