Last night I was out watering at twilight. The moon was shining in the sky and the light was magical. Birds chirped thanks for the water and I was infused with gratitude.
Later, I went outside to look for meteors but the fog had drawn a shade over the moon and I knew no flashes would be seen by me that night.
This morning I was out early watering another part of the yard, I heard the foghorns, but here, all is clear, in this moment, anyway. The fog moves in and out, a playful and serious delight of peek-a-boo wrapped and unwrapped in the sky.
Enjoying being outside, I was reminded of when we spent two weeks in Hong Kong in the fall of 2007. It was before Beijing worked to clean up the air for the Olympics in 2008 and the air was stifling, hot, heavy, and red-orange. No matter what, I have to be outside, so I would stroll along the harbor, but one day I met a man in the elevator in the hotel where we were staying. He said he never went outside. The hotel was connected to a shopping mall. He lived in the hotel, and worked from where he lived. Shopping, movies, entertainment could all be reached without going outside. I understand we are adaptable beings but I wonder if I could adapt to that.
On the other hand, I’m re-reading Frank Okstaseski’s wonderful book, The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. It’s true that our world will most likely narrow with age. The book is about embracing impermanence, the living and dying happening all the time.
I’m struck by an image he shares. He used to live in a hundred-year old farmhouse. The window panes looked solid but then he realized the glass was thicker at the bottom of the frame than at the top. Even glass is fluid.
In case you’re interested, the five invitations are:
-Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing
-Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
-Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things
-Cultivate Don’t Know Mind
With that, I’m working with the Alexander Technique, reminding myself to pause and consciously come forward with my head and rise when I come up, and use my ankles, knee, and hip joints when I come down. I’m working with fluidity, honoring resilience in my being as delicate and precious as glass.
I’m honoring the forty muscles in my tongue. It’s a composite muscle, like a composite flower, and I honor the complexity and flexibility I am.
I watch my cats now, watch and feel them breathe, all the way through. I’m learning to release the jaw and throat, to release the head upward rather than down, which doesn’t mean lifting from above but allowing the head to rise, honoring the fullness of the neck which reaches up to the skull at the occiput.
The neck is longer than we may realize, and it’s strength and resilience allows our head to bobble. Practice bobbling, and move with the flexibility of a snake into the wonder of a new moment, a new day.
This moment will never come again.
Embrace, and be embraced, in rise and fall.