How we found each other.

Before our scheduled first meeting I was extremely hesitant. “Would this seem to last forever? Would I be bored stiff? Should I just back out?”  I remember the moment: standing, waiting in front of the glass doors, trying to peek through and get a hint as to what I could expect.  Maybe I could spot someone – just a glimpse.  “Go in!” my friend shoved me out of my dreamlike state.  Only then did I notice the line of women forming behind us.  Waiting to get in?  “Weird.” I thought, and in I was pushed. I was about to take my first yoga class since maybe 1975. (when I sat cross-legged on a thick shag rug and stared at Lilias on PBS.)

It was not love at first sight.  Sanskrit?  Never heard it before.  Completely uncomfortable in my own skin, I watched women around me move gracefully through poses.  Grace was never my strong suit anyway.  At the end of the hour, my breathing confused me and my friend was sound asleep next to me on her mat, snoring. “I’m done.” I thought.

So I admit it.  I used yoga. I used it only when I needed it.  You know- to get the nice hamstring stretches after the cardio high that only relentless pounding of the pavement and chronic plantar fasciitis could give me.  How could I ever feel as great as I did after my runs? – all sweaty and gross and in pain and great at the same time.

Then I took Her yoga class.  I don’t remember a word she said, but I will never forget the way I felt listening to her.  Her class brought me to a place where I found myself mindfully placing my body into poses that were more way more challenging than they were relaxing.  I was sore after class, and I became stronger.  She gave me permission to let go of my thoughts for an hour.  Permission to just move, breath, and feel. I began to realize what my body did for me every single day, and what it was capable of doing.

Then came the discovery of what I think of as the “oasis.”  A yoga studio nestled between two of the busiest street in my town.  It was here that my practice began to deepen, and I learned how much more I could physically challenge myself – yes even cardio – in a yoga class.  I began to lose my need for the high impact workouts; those workouts spent thinking about all the things I had to figure out or do in the days ahead. I could stand here, on this rectangular piece of pretty thin rubber, and do everything I needed – physically and mentally.  Moving through poses in the steamy heated room, I learned to be patient with myself, knowing I would definitely wobble and fall over. (gracefully, of course)  Another thing?  I never knew that yoga music could be so cool.  The playlists that the teachers at Milton Yoga had were unlike any other yoga class I had ever been to.  I remember it:  dark room,  surrounded by sweaty bodies in corpse pose, completely exhausted.  The coolest song was playing.  I lay in stillness, and I knew it.  I was in love.

That, my friend, is how we found each other- Yoga and I.

We’ve come a long way together.

weekly photo challenge: change.

My kitchen.  It has seen 18 years of unrelenting traffic.  Its floor supported 4 infants in their tireless progression from crawling to walking. Its walls have witnessed family meetings, pasta parties, book club discussions, and family political debates.  Its walls are happy walls, having heard their share of life’s familiar sounds: garrulous gossiping of teenage boys and girls, cries of toddlers, rants from frustrated parents, relentless barking from a Goldendoodle.  Its oversized, now very distressed, farmhouse table has been loved to the point of its own exhaustion (one leg is barely holding on with a pathetic looking screw.)  It is a proud table.  Proud of its ability to hold plates and glasses and books, papers, and pencils, and 9- year- old boys.  My kitchen is a gallery of children’s artwork – all priceless originals.

My kitchen is about to change.

Walls are being torn down to make space for a kitchen a bit larger and much more efficient and able to accommodate this growing family of mine.  It no longer is home base for 2 adults and 4 children.  Children are quickly becoming adults over here, and we need more space!  As much as I am welcoming change – and believe me I am –  this kitchen has been good to us, and I will miss it in some ways for sure.

However,

CHANGE? 

…Bring it on!

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Daily prompt: The Transporter.

Tell us about a sensation– a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood

I wonder sometimes when I hear the song “Seasons in the Sun” by Cat Stevens (which I don’t hear often,) why I am immediately transported back in time.  I always go back to a specific place.  It is a beach house owned by a friend of my father’s, but I can’t remember whose house it is.  I remember holding my father’s hand in the hot sunshine.  I remember a covered front porch where people gathered.  I was definitely less than 10 years old.

It is interesting that a song with such meaning transports me to this place.  To be perfectly honest, I sometimes wish I were not transported because when I hear the words, it saddens me.  Quite obviously, someone is facing death, saying goodbye to friends and loved ones.  Perhaps this song was a reminder to a young child to enjoy life – enjoy every day.

I keep this song close to my heart for many reasons.  It tells a story of love shared not only between two people, but also among family and friends.  I was lucky enough as a girl so young to have received the message of this song so strongly.  It speaks of young friendships, passing time, families, and forgiveness.  Even though the stars we can reach may be just “starfish on the beach,” I say keep reaching for them.  As my father (who is forever holding my hand) would have said,  it is through the simple life experiences in this song that we “learn how to love.”

“Seasons in the Sun”  by Cat Stevens:

goodbye to you my trusted friend
we´ve known each other since we
were nine or ten
together we´ve climbed hills and trees
learned of love and abc´s
skinned our hearts and
skinned our knees

goodbye my friend it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing
in the sky
now that spring is in the air
pretty girls are everywhere
think of me and i´ll be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the hills that we climbed were
just seasons out of time

goodbye papa please pray for me
i was the black sheep of the family
you tried to teach me right from wrong
too much wine and too much song
wonder how i got along

goodbye papa it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky
now that the spring is in the air
little children everywhere
when you see them i´ll be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like the
seasons have all gone
we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like
the seasons have all gone, yeah

goodbye michelle my little one
you gave me love and helped
me find the sun
and every time that i was down
you would always come around
and get my feet back on
the ground

goodbye michelle it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing in
the sky
now that the spring is in the air
with the flowers everywhere
i wish that we could both be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the stars we could reach
were just starfish on the beach

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like the
seasons have all gone

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