It’s fast becoming clear that Sunday evening’s Yin yoga class is in large part about clearing the mind. So, on the drive home, it begins to fill up. After an hour and a half of stretching and expanding and opening up, there seems to be more space for meaningful reflection.
Last evening, heading toward home, with Anders Osborne on the stereo, I found myself wrapped in the warm embrace of thoughts of New Orleans. NOLA is never far from my mind, but lately its aura has been hanging more closely to my skin than usual. Maybe it’s the approach of Jazzfest, and my mind turning back to the fantastic visit we had a year ago. Maybe it’s that my sister is there right now, for a conference, and had dinner at Coop’s at my urging, and even sent me a picture of her meal this evening.
Just the sounds of Anders’ music, and I am back there, and see with such clarity the significance of that time in my life, the year that I spent there at the dawn of my adulthood, and how it changed me.
New Orleans liberated me from so many constraints I put on myself at such a young age. I learned to loosen up, open up, drink in my surroundings, to understand that there is so much energy that we cannot touch or see that shapes our lives, and how we connect with other human beings.
I’m blessed to have had other moments like this. It’s been one year exactly since I spent a week climbing in Moab with First Descents. As I write this, members of my FD family are there again, enjoying a repeat performance, sending me photos of the sunrise and their beautiful faces as they scale the rock faces of Wall Street. First Descents resurrected me, forever changed my Life After Cancer, and opened me up to the possibilities which my young life still held, even after the brutality of cancer.
It’s been one year in our new house, and I am amazed at how far we have come in twelve months. I am starting to make the gardens that I dreamed of when we moved in. These are small steps. But my vision is growing and coming to life. We are making this place our own. We have readied it for our family, which we have wanted for so long, and we are making happen, in spite of everything.
In two short weeks, Yin yoga has brought my awareness to this phenomenon of “opening.” In the extended moments of stillness, opening joints and muscles, hidden places within us that we cannot see, there is a kind of serenity. Over the past few months, I have opened myself up to the possibility that yoga might help me continue to heal, even three years after my illness. This resurrection is continuous. I can always be stronger, more clear-headed, more open to the world around me.
I hope this wonder never ends, and that each day holds some microcosmic version of these epochal moments.