Monday, January 19, 2009

Yoga plough

It’s 7:30 a.m. and I awaken uncharacteristically bright and alert, pop out of bed ready to begin my yoga practice, throw on my yoga duds and head downstairs to begin my day filled with positive and optimistic energy. But, as I pass through it, the darkness of the hallway threatens to engulf me in its grey mood. “Quick, open the door,” my inner voice tosses out its command like some kind of life line for me to grab on to.
As I draw back the wooden inner door a lovely winter scene spreads before my eyes and I pause to take in its beauty. A blanket of pure white snow covers everything with stillness: front yards, trees, cars, driveways. Even the mound of ice that resides behind my car ALF W seems benevolent, serene and still though quadrupled in size since I last ploughed my car over it 2 nights ago. The mound’s growth spurt assisted by the saviour and the scourge of the north - the street snow plough, while I lay snug in bed, lost in dreams.
I breathe in a sigh. My intended yoga practice has now transformed into shovelasana.
My breath is steady; my body falls into an easy rhythm – inhale - step, step, dig, bend knees, lift, turn, turn,- exhale - toss, turn - inhale - step, step, dig, bend knees, lift, turn, turn, - exhale- toss, turn…The newly fallen surface layer responds easily to my efforts and the body, mind and spirit are willing. But as minutes pile one upon the other my enthusiasm begins to crumble though the compacted icy mound underneath my shovel does not.
A heaviness of spirit grows, quietly and slowly at first but its momentum compounds like a snowball rolling down hill.
Who is this grumbling, disgruntled person that has taken “my” place? Her whining annoys me, but my forearms are burning with each dig and lift I make; I have to get to the clinic on time and I worry what will greet me when I return tonight. So why shouldn’t I complain? Ah, she has become me!
In the instant of recognition; equanimity’s lightness returns.
Inhale - step, step, dig, bend knees, lift, turn, turn, - exhale- toss, turn – inhale - step, step, dig, bend knees, lift, turn, turn,- exhale- toss, turn…
In the distance rumbles a cheery, bright orange sidewalk plough looking like a child’s dinky toy pushing away advancing banks of snow. And I hear myself wishing somewhat downtrodden as I shovel “I wish he’d come here and clear this mass for me.”
The grumbler inside starts to stir but another more optimistic voice breaks through. “Wait”. I listen as I step, step, dig…
“Wouldn’t it be nice if he’d come and clear this off for me”, somewhat wistful now.
“No, make it even clearer.” Step, step, dig…
“He’s going to come over here and clear this off for me”, the firm assurance of expectation sets in optimism and shoveling gets easier, the snow lighter.
Step, step, dig…The sounds of creaking machinery and a chugging motor break through my reverie. I look up. He motions me away and in a few swipes of his blade the insurmountable obstacle never existed.
I am lighter than air with gratitude!
Excitedly I rush into the house; pull a card out of my purse and speed back out into the winter’s day in time to catch up with him before he heads down the road. “Roll down your window”, I shout. He does and smiles in appreciation as I press into his hand a $10. Starbucks gift card given to me for Christmas…either that or my Visa, I’m not sure which I was just so overtaken with joy and he’s gone now. I’m really hoping it was the Starbucks card as that’ll get him a lot more than my VISA. I think I have to go and meditate as I’m feeling a little stressed right now. No, wait. Maybe I need to look for my wallet. Ummmm.

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