What questions are you living in 2017?
There’s a stillness early in January, when the clutter of the holidays—real and figurative—is cleared away, when it’s too cold to worry about much outside, when the routine returns post winter break. Into that stillness I stepped willingly this year, feeling like the huge transitions of the 2016—relocating my teaching practice, settling Seventeen in college, adjusting to life with him away—were managed. Indeed each of the questions that launched 2016—whether I should close Radiant Om Yoga; what life might look like after; what it would be like for Ninety-Two, Fourteen and me in our house without the bright, vibrant center of energy that is Seventeen, had found their way to reasonable new realities, if not precise answers. And I thought—Okay. I can take a little time now, in this space, to figure out next steps, next questions.
One morning geese flooded our neighborhood lake where above-normal temps meant there was open water, and just as I was watching them an eagle soared over their midst, causing the geese to dip their heads and squawk. I watched the eagle gain elevation and circle over first the lake, then the trees. And I thought—I’m so glad I got to see that.
Another day a shaggy young coyote was standing at the street corner, looking for all the world like he was waiting to cross with the walk light. Fourteen in the passenger seat pointed to him, “I saw that doggy in our backyard the other day.” When I explained he was a coyote, she said, “I didn’t think he was anyone’s pet. He’s beautiful.” I was glad I got to see that, too.
A fat squirrel does acrobatic tricks among the crab apple trees in our backyard, nibbling at dried fruits and then leaping onto branches that look like they’ll snap under her weight. She’s red and fluffed up against the cold. I see her most mornings and I think how wonderful she is to watch.
I leapt at an invitation to teach yoga at our local science center, where a projection on the domed ceiling of the glittering Milky Way lent an intergalactic quality to one practice and the full moon surrounded by sparkling stars felt like a dream come true in another. These were moments I felt nothing short of awe.
And more recently, there are the hints of the coming season—small birds flying in pairs, the return of the cardinals flashing red against the snow, the chick-a-dee adding an extra dee to its song. Spring with its racing forward energy is a promise, beckoning and reminding; the early-year stillness that lets me look around doesn’t last.
In fact, what happened in January and spilled into February became so much more, so rife with emotion and energy requirements that life ran me full tilt and question posing time in particular fell entirely away. Those close to the epicenter know the details: Ninety-Two’s health took a dive, a not-entirely unexpected event for someone who has graced this planet for so long. But no matter how prepared one might be for such eventual circumstances, moving through it is big and complicated and challenging. While so much—writing and eating well and sleeping regular hours and walking—went by the wayside, as I think back over these days, it is the moments of stillness with wildlife and stars and most particularly the people whom I love that I see gave me strength.
And so just tonight, under an actual full moon, I am finding my way back from being overwhelmed by it all to overneath it all. Ninety-Two, Seventeen, Fourteen and I are all okay—the good kind of okay—at this very moment. For the first time in weeks I feel like there’s a little breathing room; nevertheless, I’m aware that the opportunity for stillness has slipped away with the calendar pages of January. The new normal will take some getting used to, but at least there promises to be plenty to write about.
Here’s to the launch of a slightly delayed new year of OverneathItAll. I’ve missed marking two of my favorite holidays with you—the Chinese New Year welcomed in the Fire Rooster and the Ground Hog saw his shadow (six more weeks of stillness might be good for me). I celebrated eleven years of being a yoga educator as well. And as ever, I’m extraordinarily lucky to journey with you. Much love & happy full Snow Moon. Namaste, Rxo