Posted in Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, Hope, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Photography

I had forgotten

Rings of sunrise. (A double exposure of tree rings and sunrise clouds.)

When suffering constricts the heart, awe stretches it back out, making us more compassionate, more loving, more present.

~ Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger

…a ‘threshold’ appears first as a boundary and then once approached, you realize that it is only the limit of one layer of understanding while, at the same time, it acts as the doorway to the next, deeper layer.

~ Michael Chambers, English Professor

The story, in rings, of a fallen cedar tree.

Imagine if a critical mass of us are being led by our deepest wisdom—perhaps that is how we take humanity across this threshold.

~ Valarie Kaur

The sunrise clouds I paired with the tree rings in the first image.

I had forgotten, until I did it again, how hard the Breathless Body (HIIT) workout is.  I managed to do only two full drills (out of eight).  I was left breathless (that’s the point), sweaty, and somehow tired but energized at the same time.  My legs felt wobbly, like jello.  Even the warm-up is difficult.  It will take time and practice to get to the third drill, then the fourth, and onward.  I do remember a brief period of time when I was capable of doing the entire workout.  It didn’t last long, but it’s an indication that it can be done.  I had almost forgotten that a hard workout can be one way of caring for myself.  Heart rate up, breath coming and going quickly, body moving, are ways of shaking off scattered and excess energy.  My body settles into a deep sigh of satisfaction when I finish and I’ve caught my breath again.  There will be sore muscles to remind me that I did, indeed, challenge myself and my body just enough to push beyond where I started.

Earlier, during the dark part of dawn.

I had forgotten how supple my spine becomes when I do the kundalini yoga practice I learned during my first year of sobriety.  It opens everything up.  The spine, the spaces between the vertebrae, the front and back of the heart, the chest, the shoulder blades.  It’s almost like growing wings, an opening and closing, opening and closing.  The breath work is energizing, good for a morning practice.  This is also a difficult workout, one that I feel primarily in the abs and then the arms.  I lasted about ten minutes.  It was enough.  I have another daily practice now, but it was good to go back to one that felt so familiar, one that I did almost every day for a year.

Watching the light move.

I had forgotten how long the month of January can be.  Sometime around the middle of the month I remember.  I remember, too, that February feels even longer and I marvel at how that’s possible given it’s the shortest month of the year.  This remembering feels more like a ghost than a reality.  Our winters are mild here.  Today is sunny, as most days tend to be in comparison to the cloudy winter days of NE Ohio (where I used to live).  It’s chilly, yes, but not nearly as chilly as it is in NE Ohio.  We have more light here, being a little farther south, and that is what makes the remembering feel more like an illusion than what it truly is.

Stretching, lightening.

I had forgotten that I signed up for The People’s Inauguration, a 10-day event to help deepen the commitment “to do our part in healing, reimagining, and rebuilding this country.”  I saw the email this morning and tuned in for the replay of yesterday’s kick-off and the taking of the oath (which I did as encouraged and filled it in with some of my core values).  (You can find templates of the oath here.)  After that, I did today’s practice with Valarie Kaur which was wonderful and wonder-full.  The practice is about wonder and wondering, and finding wonder and wondering in our lives.  (It would be unfair of me to give it all away.  The event is free and you can sign up for it here, if interested.)

I have admired Valarie Kaur, the host of The People’s Inauguration, for a while, having listened to some of her talks, read some of her essays, and had her book (See No Stranger) on my reading list ever since the pre-order days.  The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I have been on a no-buy plan for a while.  No buying new books until I read the majority of what is sitting on my bookshelves.  I might break that rule to buy See No Stranger so that I can read it soon now that I’m reading again.  I didn’t read much throughout this past pandemic year.  I couldn’t concentrate.  Now that it feels as if the adults are in charge again, reading, like breath, seems to come easier.

Awe and wonder.

I had forgotten what it was like to get up in the morning and start my day without anxiety forming a  knot in the pit of my stomach.  I feel so much lighter that I’m almost giddy.  I could float away with the morning clouds.  I know that there is no “normal” to return to right now.  I am not looking for that and like many others, I’m trying to reimagine a better future, a better country, where patriarchal white supremacy doesn’t reign and where we have compassion and respect for all beings, including the other-than-human.  I am also resolved to settling in for the long-haul while remembering that joy and wonder and rest have their part to play.  Joy can be difficult to find in the midst of uncertainty (and we are certainly in the midst of that!).  Receive beauty as it shows up, in whatever form it shows up.  Beautiful sunrises or sunsets, beautiful words, beautiful deeds, beautiful spirit within.

Above the treeline.

It is likely I have forgotten more than I remember these days.  Even words are hard to come by at times.  I’ll start a sentence and end up in a long pause, reaching around in my brain or checking the tip of my tongue for a word that has briefly disappeared.  It reappears, usually in a short period of time.  But I’ve told M that if he would like to finish my sentences for me, I really don’t mind.  It will save us time and given how fast time is flying as we age, it doesn’t hurt to cache a few seconds or nanoseconds here and there for future use.  The treasure of aging is time.

The pink light looked like a figure dancing in the clouds.

Thank you so much for stopping by and watching the sunrise with me today.  How about we take in the sunset too?  We can meet out at the dock this evening.  Sunset is scheduled for 5:15 PM.  It’s sunny and the temperature is about 50 degrees (F) or so, but you’ll want to bundle up.  It’s cold and breezy by the water.

Please be safe, be well, be kind, and look for beauty in whatever form it comes. ♥

One of our herd. I saw four of them this morning, one looking like she’s fairly new to this world.  It was good to see some of them again.  I’m glad hunting season is over.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,691)  Conversations that yield gems of wisdom.  1,692)  Family and friends.  1,693)  M, always.  1,694)  Saving M’s life yesterday.  I might be exaggerating a little, but he could have been injured or worse if I hadn’t caught him when he fell from a ladder while trimming a tree branch that was quite high up in a tree.  1,695)  The strength I didn’t know I had.  (And the over-the-counter medication to deal with the aches that come with that strength…lol!)

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

24 thoughts on “I had forgotten

  1. Beautiful, beautiful pictures! Yes, so many of us are feeling relieved and grateful that intelligent folks with compassion are now in charge of this country. They have a heck of a job on their hands. Oh, my!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Laurie. 🙂 The job they have on their hands is so big, I’m not sure how they’ll manage it all. Hopefully getting the right people in the right jobs doing the right things will get us moving in a good direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad M is okay – ladders aren’t safe places for us old folks! 😉
    Isn’t it amazing to wake up in the morning without dreading what the POTUS will do or say that day? Carrying that cringing anxiety for 4 years takes a lot out of a person, and I am looking forward to healing and normalcy. I’m not in denial that there is great work to do and it will take time to get back up and running with any semblance of normal, but at least we can now expect a sane treatment to the problems we face. SO GLAD that last chapter is over. We’ve run the gauntlet and survived!
    Loving your sunrise pix, Robin. Perfect for the dawning of our new era.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I keep telling M that he’s too old to be so high up on a ladder. He was insistent on trimming that tree branch because it shades a big part of the vegetable garden and he’s determined to grow all sorts of veggies this year.

      And oh yes, it IS amazing! I didn’t realize just how much tension and anxiety had built up over the past 4 years. I’m hoping we can settle in now and do what should have been done last year when it comes to the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt such a palpable sense of happiness and relief on Wednesday. I know that things in the nation and world are still horrible–and will be for a long time, but as you say, having grownups in charge is such a comfort. Good luck with all your exercise, and congratulations for saving M’s life. 😀 Stunning photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your photos. The colors are invigorating and soothing at the same time. I am grooving on waking up anxiety-free. At least in terms of the bigger picture. You remind me that I need to get back into yoga practice. I feel the time is now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Would love to meet you on the dock. Loving the lengthening of the days.
    Kudos to you for the exercise, breathing and pledging to be part of the healing moving forward. I am with you in all three, not exactly, but in different forms exercise, breathe work and joining in community to be loving bring change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. 🙂 We all have our own way of being part of the healing, and I think we sometimes don’t realize how big a part we play with just the smallest things (a kindness, a gesture, a helping hand).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The yoga sounds amazing! Keep going. I need to do more of it. I’m working out but yoga helps body AND soul. And I love the quote you start with–the idea that awe stretches out what pain constricts. What a beautiful thought . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kay. 🙂 Yoga has been a great resource for me this past year or so. The timing of the teacher training continues to amaze me (that the year-long+ class started when it did and that I’ve had that community to go to during the pandemic).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Joy can be difficult to find in the midst of uncertainty (and we are certainly in the midst of that!). Receive beauty as it shows up, in whatever form it shows up.” Beautiful thought, Robin. Last night beauty showed up when our granddaughter video-called us, eyes all bright with excitement over recieving the latest issue of the National Geographic Kids magazine subscription we got her. 🙂 Unprompted, she told us how much she loved it and showed us some of the pictures but mostly we just watched her read it. Joy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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