Today I walked up the lane behind our house and climbed three stone steps placed by our neighbors to easily reach a walking path. When I left the house, the thermometer read 59 degrees. While I walked, great patches of blue among the clouds opened. The sunlight warmed my face and body to the point I unzipped the light jacket I had worn.
Now, as I sit at my desk, clouds have started to roll in, dimming the sunlight. Still, I think the hackberry, maple and sycamore trees behind the house, bare as they are, must be relishing this light and warmth. Perhaps the buds at the tip of each branch might swell just infinitesimally with hope.
February is taking pity on us, I believe, offering up a taste of spring, reminding us that even though cold and snowy days may come, days like this will follow, sooner or later.
This day filled me with joy. My yoga teacher tells me that this stage of life – you know the wise woman and man stage – is about joy, doing the things that bring us joy. It has taken me a long time to embrace this notion without feeling guilty. But more and more I find moments that offer me this gift.
Frequently birds are involved. Like the morning a flock – yes – an entire flock of bluebirds landed in the front yard to eat suet. And, another morning when a pileated woodpecker landed on the suet feeder to eat breakfast. Usually, like the bird examples, it is something simple that evokes that feeling of joy for me. Simple things like teaching my wise women yoga class; making a salad that looks beautiful as well as tasting delicious; having tea with my husband and cats (they don’t drink tea) as we sit in front of a fire in our wood stove. AND, being able to get up in the morning to do my yoga practice.
Doing my practice over many years has set me up to be open to the moments in which I find joy. Yoga practice is time set apart on a regular basis to develop attention and focus, to see myself, my priorities, and relationships more clearly, and to grow in my spiritual life. My yoga practice inspires me to enter my daily activities with greater awareness, care, patience, and joy.
Perhaps we are given winter here in the north just to remind us to pay attention and to relish spring.