~ awake in this moment, at home in the world ~

Grace in the Shape of a Tree

February 3, 2017

Some days you have it, and 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 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 and balanced tree pose of bliss. 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 pose, 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 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. I just stand here on one foot, the other foot tucked into my standing leg. And I stay, with no impulse to move or shift, and no need to wobble. Nothing needs to happen next. 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. Any minute now, my babe could roll over, sit up from his nap and chant, "Done!”

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.

A quiet overtakes me in this majestic shape, and my mind clears. My roots grow deep, my vision grows long, and I begin to sense myself plugging back into the big soul of the world. I am this body, for sure, and I am this tree pose. But hidden in this moment, I now sense invisible strands of light and life connecting me to all of the trees that have ever been, and more. I am, in fact, the whole wide world. With this realization I feel reclaimed, brought home, made whole once again.

 I know that my footing will falter again. Surely, I will lose my balance. I’ll waffle and wobble and fall. I’ll lose touch with what matters most. Life's just like that. Some days you have it and some days you don't.

And that understanding 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.