Sunday, December 21, 2008


This morning I got up just before the sun and was treated to a genuine sunrise, something that hasn’t happened here in a week or two, given the cloudy weather. I saw the first rays glowing on the bathroom wall; that pulled from me twice the smile because it meant a sun-drenched shower awaited me after yoga. I like the window in the bathroom. It makes me think of a glass-block wall in a bathroom I’ll someday design for my house, which makes me think of architecture, which makes me think of passive solar design which makes me think of natural materials which makes me think of teaching about renewable energy which makes me think of sustainable living which... reminds me of the richness of life both inside and outside my head.

This was my first yoga class in my adoptive city; I can’t be sure who has adopted whom at this early stage, but we seem to be caring for each other well enough: more than cordial, less than love-at-first-sight. The thought of yoga in the morning does not inspire unmixed delight for me; I prefer the advantage of a day’s limbering activity to a cold-start stretch. Ah, but this morning-- how the body rejoiced to this new kind awakening, putting the lie to the ego’s warnings of uncomfortable and ungainly poses. Here was something the body liked because it felt good: to move with the dawn, to surge its fire through cold-wary limbs. Triangle pose had me tingling (aided by the certain knowledge of the sun, outside, rising into blue on a cold morning) and by virabhadrasana II, I was boldly channeling energy through eager muscle and sinew, one of Arjuna’s warriors ready for battle. Yes, a good start to the day. I must burn that old belief about morning yoga.

After the anticipated shower of sun and water, I went to a local church service, not because I would normally do so on a given Sunday-- I wouldn’t-- but because it’s solstice, a time for community and gathering together to welcome the return of the light. And in a few weeks, I’ll be teaching evening classes at this church; here I could see the community in action, socially, some of whom I may later meet professionally.

I interrupted the drive home (southward, toward the ebullient sun) with a stop at the grocery to pick up a bag of food for my neighbor, who’s running a bit short this month. This isn’t like me either; not to say I’m ungenerous. Those who know me would confirm my generosity. The difference: I don’t usually think of it first, unbidden. There are many side roads and alternate routes in my thinking; the impulse to generosity sometimes has an extra mile to find its way out. And sometimes not so. Not absent-minded professor, just... different drummer.

Later, took in a matinee. I picked the quirky romantic comedy over the animations (eye candy for my inner designer) and the heartfelt drama (soul lessons for the fervent humanist). Why? It had a call to affirmation that I have needed to answer. So I answered it.

And here it is now, the longest night of the year. The night of doubt and promise, of fear and anticipation. Will the light return? Will it triumph over the darkness? Or-- will light and darkness meet in their semiannual embrace, exchange loving whispers, and willingly, beautifully, trade roles once again in their eternal pas de deux, the one now graciously giving over the lead to the other?

I will take a moment this evening to sit and consider the past year. I’ll recall where it’s taken me (far and wide, before landing here), what it has taught me (too soon to tell?), and evaluate what to keep and what needs letting go. And that last I’ll write on a slip of paper and, with honest love for the generosity of the lesson, I’ll set fire to it.... and let it go.

I’m encouraged that change is possible where it is needed because today had so many--if small-- differences over other days. And great things are possible from small beginnings.


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