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Inspiring health and happiness in body, mind and spirit

Grace in the Shape of a Tree

February 3, 2011
Some days you have it, some days you don't. By rights, today I shouldn't. It's cold, it's February, and the sun has barely touched my skin in weeks. My sons are both sick, and I was up more than I was down last night tending to their needs. I began the day, well before dawn with a grumble of, "Today is going to be a crabby day."

But here I am standing in a beautiful, balanced, blissful tree pose. For no good reason, here in the quiet afternoon light I have become a tree. A happy one. Well rooted, yet flowering brightly. Steady and resilient. Grounded and soaring both in the same breath. I smile.

Tree pose isn't usually my favorite yoga asana, but it's about balance, which I crave, so I do my best to work it into my day when I can. And somehow this afternoon, after mucking around on the yoga mat for my few free and quiet moments of the day, I have been pulled into the deep roots of a grand old dame of a tree.

My feet are magnetically drawn into the floor. My head is magnificently pulled toward the sky. And I just stand here on one foot, the other foot tucked into my standing leg. And I continue to stay. And stay. With no impulse to move, to shift, and no need to wobble. I have arrived, I have settled in, I am present.

Eventually, in the name of balance, I change sides. I am surprised to find my body just as well-rooted and as steady here on my right leg, the wobbly one. I stand, and breathe, and watch. I have no idea how much longer this steady tree will last. My babe could roll over, sit up from his nap and chant, "Done," any minute.

But still, here I stand in a state that must resemble grace. My hands press peacefully into one another in front of my heart as if in prayer. And then my arms bloom upward toward the sky above, and I feel myself bloom, too.

I know that my footing will falter again, that I will lose my balance and waffle and wobble and fall. Life's just like that - some days you have it, some days you don't. And that makes me even more thankful that by some mystery, on this improbable and grumbly day, I have found my balance, I have found my footing, I have found myself once again.

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