Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wake It Up

The weather today is brisk, windy, shockingly cold in comparison with the springlike days just last weekend. I have re-evaluated what I will wear before heading out. I took out the serious gloves and scarf. I am looking forward to meeting the wind. The last time I walked 45 minutes in the bitter cold, I was well dressed and even so my hands found my pockets and my scarf tightened across my face while waiting at intersections. It was a beautiful morning. I was fascinated by the birds, by the children heading for school, by the dry leaves tumbling, the cyclists in their masks. Along with the urban landscape around me, there was a very interesting internal one, the adjustments to the cold, the measuring of how far or how long, and the awareness that I could choose to relax and not hunch up against the wind, but experience it without undue resistance.

I'm glad we don't have the same weather every day. The sky and wind, the shift in temperature and light, all this brings an alertness that I enjoy. I remember taking yoga classes that always began the same way and for a while this was comforting. My sense of familiarity was palpable, my body making the adjustments, my mind thinking it knew what was coming next. Yet even in that steady context, once my attention became alert I found that every moment was different. On a particular day my cross-legged seat would be comfortable or not, my breath would feel wide or not, my gaze steady or not. There are days when even a steadiness in trkonasana (triangle pose) escapes me on one side, while it is present on the other side.

Let the weather remind you to wake up, stay awake and turn your attention towards the outer and inner world. The beauty, the starkness, the warm heart, the essential inquiry into being and freedom are all there in today's wind. Smile as your eyes water in response, dig your hands in your pockets and let the winds blow!

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