“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”~Alan Cohen
Days 22 and 23 of 40 days of yoga.
I am always a Christmas late-starter. Christmas always creeps up on me and takes me by surprise. The Bear asked me a week ago if I was going to put a tree up this year. Of course I am! I’m just…waiting until I feel Christmassy :). Of course, the kids and I put it up, hung it with decorations and tinsel, strung coloured lantern lights up and brought out my beloved Christmas tree light that Jenny, my Dad’s wife made for me years ago.
And you know what? I started to feel Christmassy :).
Last night we had our community Christmas party at our local hall. 60 years old, the hall was strung with fairy lights, precious baubles, tinsel and a gorgeous Christmas tree – the old girl scrubbed up alright. The locals scrubbed up alright too :). Santa came on the back of a neighbour’s tractor, with the driver decked out in a red Rudolph nose and antlers.
The Fairy Queen promised that she wouldn’t be scared of Santa this year (every other year she has screamed at the sight of him – wherever he is – and insisted on leaving immediately). Brave words; but she clung to me like velcro when he came, and I had to sit next to her on the floor with the other children to get her to stay. After a little while she calmed down – and even sat next to him and had a little chat! Later on, she told me that she breathed all of the fright out, and breathed the brave in. Cue proud mother smile :).
The backing for our Christmas carols was provided by three men on two acoustic guitars and a ukelele, and the tuneful voices of 50-odd singers.
And you know what? I started to feel even more Christmassy 🙂
By then end of today, the Christmas spirit had been a little dented by a long hot day, tired cranky children and adults who had reached the end of their tolerance before the day had finished. I wished more than anything for a swim, but the long dry spring has meant that a good swimming hole is hard to find. And then some friends popped in and told us that the water hole down the road from us, my summer sanctuary, was fine to swim in. Two minutes later, the Fairy Queen and I were in our swimmers and driving down the hot road.
Best and worst moment of the day? The best moment was when I stood on the bank of the river and saw that the water was clean and flowing. The worst moment was when I stood on the bank of the river, saw that the water was clean and flowing – and that I had wasted all day on an assumption! I had assumed that the river wasn’t nice, and I hadn’t even thought to check. There was an uncomfortable feeling that this was a repeat lesson from the other day when I had assumed that the topic I had chosen for my assessment was suitable, and hadn’t waited for the go ahead before doing the assignment. Another day wasted because of assumption! Grrrrr.
That feeling lasted about 30 seconds, before I leaped into the cool water, and all of the day’s challenges dissolved and flowed away.
After a little while, I got out and did yoga on the river bank while the Fairy Queen played a couple of metres away in the shallows. I stood there in tadasana (mountain pose) for a moment, and I could feel the life of the place surround me. There tiny superb blue wrens flitting in and out of the tall grasses, honey eaters feasting on the crimson callistemon flowers, and a little turtle popped its head out of the water and disappeared just as quickly. Salute to the sun (dirty hands and knees), standing poses and finally sitting poses. I don’t know if the heat had melted my muscles away, but for the first time in my life, I was able to rest my forehead on my knee. The light was not just surrounding me now, it was in me, and flowing out of me, shooting out of my finger tips.
As lovely as my yoga room is, there was something special about practicing yoga in a beautiful natural space. It felt as though I was praying, or doing a special ritual – but I wasn’t. All I was doing was moving my body in a conscious way, and being present in the presence of beauty. Apparently my friends, that is the same as praying. Praying with the body! No words needed 🙂
So here I am, at the end of 23 days of yoga. Inspiration, nature, a cool swim on a hot day, and a transcendental yoga experience. That’s what I call a good weekend :).