I like to go out on my balcony and do yoga. When I lift my chin from the wooden planks I see the mountain ridges and the soft light of morning. At sunset, new colors appear in the sky that I never thought possible: the dusky rose of romance, the color of youthful faces flushed in desire somehow cutting through the faded blue of early evening. It is a good place to be inside of my nature.
Other times, I know yoga is not optional if I want to keep a channel of communication open with my body. In my youth I danced. I'd spend five to six hours a day stretching, moving, or expressing flights of fancy through my body. With the birth of a child stretching me in new ways, the relationship with my body shifted yet again. To keep a relationship with my body I had to be willing to put aside time. I tried to regulate it like a drill sergeant, forcing myself up and out of the house whenever moments presented themselves. All relationships must grow and change, or they die.
I want to push the edges comfort and keep stretching the possibilities for what my body will look & feel like when rubbing up against my soul in my late 90s. I want to be like these sisters I saw in a magazine once, both older than 100 and still jogging every morning, with healthy skin and strong limbs. I’m not actually a jogger, but it helps me keep the perspective that body relationships--like all relationships--deteriorate unless we tend them daily with love and awareness. We don’t always have to do a lot, but we must be present with ourselves.
This morning I was three hours late getting out my front door for yoga.
“Just take a shower and do something later!” my inner voice said.
I resisted, reminding myself that great journeys begin with one step. I felt bad. I felt late. I stepped outside and raised my arms in sun salutation. The sun was no longer just above the horizon, and the sense of early morning was giving way to midday. But my eyes stopped in surprise on visitors that have never before creeped around to the front of our highly trafficked front yard: deer.
The baby had spots just like Bambi! I held my breath for a stunned instant, then felt an upwelling of deep appreciation for the gifts of nature. How thankful I was for stepping outside. There is no such thing as late, I thought to myself. Lateness is an illusion. I was here just in time. It is always just in time.
I signaled my son, who came out to watch as the doe and fawn munched on fresh leaves in the the daylight. They looked up at us, the doe watching for signs of danger, and keeping its young close. Birds twittered. Time felt suspended.
I honored the sweetness of mother and child on the balcony, and the deer family just below. We were in communion with nature, all eyes locked in curiosity. I marveled at their grace and courage to come here, where cars slide in and out and people could emerge from any door. But I also sensed what they sensed; the grace of the emerging day. I breathed, watched my entranced son with joy, and continued to stretch my limbs.
Eventually the doe decided we were too close for comfort, and she struck out across the black pavement parking lot like a comedy character trying to creep away unnoticed. The fawn followed, hiding behind her flank, and they disappeared into the green across the way.
I did a spinal twist. We humans make goals, plans, time things, work within parameters, boundaries, promises, and decisions. We are easily hurt when things don’t go as planned according to our mind. Nature has a different timing. We forget that simple attention can make the difference between life and death, growth and decay, and that this simple attention is more important than our imposed deadlines and projected beliefs. Time is all relative, I mused, sliding deeply into my own body, turning my attention inward, and disappearing into my own green.