My job, family, and mind are ganging up on me. Ever feel that way? There’s too much going on. Yet it was hard to sleep last night while obsessing over my to-do list. When I woke up, I knew I had to somehow get happy before trying anything else. I’m alive, healthy and employed. Hooray! Look what else I found.
Minnie Pearl: a neighbor’s miniature horse
Friends just down the road got this miniature horse last week and invited me over to see her. Nothing wakes up your heart like the sight of a beautiful animal. Her name is Minnie Pearl. Clever, huh? [I guess you have to be a certain age to remember Minnie.]
We also had visits from the butterflies that hang out here this time of year. The picture below was taken with the zoom lens on my little digital camera. Wow! A hundred years ago we’d just have to imagine how this encounter might look.
The butterfly and the marigold have a heart to heart conversation
The guy below also showed up near the garage. It’s not a very clear picture, but the bucks usually run before I can snap a single photo.
An unexpected guest
So as you can see, no matter how much work and worry there is, just finding a moment to be amazed and grateful can do wonders. I feel better right now. I hope you enjoyed this little breather, too.
Today my mom can barely walk. But thirty five years ago she was a female pioneer, enrolling in yoga classes when few people knew what they were. She started doing yoga when her eldest child left home. It was a bold choice for a small town mother.
Yoga in Times Square
I’m pretty sure that Mom took yoga to quell the first pangs of empty nest syndrome. I had gone off to college and my sister — her “baby” — was already in high school. We lived in a small, traditional town in the Pennsylvania coal region. It was the kind of place where people distrusted any form of exotic behavior. Local opinion didn’t stop Mom, who went as far as visiting the ashram, while mastering downward dog and tree pose. She even met the yogi from India who founded the Kripalu retreat. Today I still wonder what prompted this strange choice from my normally conservative mother. Something about the yogic way of life appealed to her, but she’s long past the point of explaining what it was.
As a young adult I did not want to be like my mother in any way. Of course, we all end up displaying aspects of our parents’ character whether we like it or not. The one thing I did admire was her early interest in yoga and healing arts. I’ve followed her example by studying these practices for the past few years. Yesterday, I pursued that interest all the way to Times Square in New York City. To celebrate the summer solstice, I participated in a giant yoga event. About 11,000 people got down on their mats in streets that were blocked off from traffic. It’s hard to explain how amazing it felt to bend beneath a blue sky with New York neon spiraling around us, an occasional police siren disrupting our peaceful breath.
I wish my mother could have seen it. She laughs at everything these days, but this was truly entertaining. They say the study of yoga is a journey that can change your life. When I combine that practice with the experience of caring for my mom, I begin to see life as one long phase of transformation.