Gravitate Towards Joy

The air has a scent of crisp green, even in the afternoon it still smells pungent and fresh. Is there a smell to running water? Is there a special aroma of river water tumbling over rocks ? The smell of wood smoke lingers in the cool mornings, fading to a tendril of scent as the day warms.

I don’t watch for snakes. However I am on alert for the neighborhood mountain lion and the pesky bear that has been bothering the horses.

One of the little hills on my walk

Between a hip that needs to be replaced AGAIN, a torn quad that has been an issue for over fifteen years , two replaced shoulders and a knee that’s trying to go wonky on me, I have been frustrated, sad, angry and resentful. The last time I went on a hike it resulted in the painful rolling walk that those with hip pain recognize. For two weeks I struggled with sleeping, moving, walking. Couple this with birthdays that seem to be accelerating at an alarming rate, and let’s just say I have not been a happy woman.

So no more hikes. No mountain trail running. Instead I walk. I honor and listen to what the pain is telling me. I don’t ignore the sound of my body telling me it is hurt. Forty years of martial arts made me deaf to the voice of my muscles, tendons and joints telling me that “more is not better”.

One thousand pushups on New Years Day 2010.

Shoulders replaced four years later.

A few months into Covid I decided to do a little trail running course on our property, using our two steep driveways and stairs to give me several route and intensity combinations.

No surprise I overdid it and found areas of hurt and damage that I didn’t know were possible.

I’ve been a martial artist my entire adult life. I know about injuries and I know what to do. Back to basics.

Mick laughing at me

I walk. I honor and listen to the pain instead of ignoring and fighting it (and making it worse). I don’t treat my body as an opponent to be overpowered and forced into compliance.

There are enough areas with an incline to get my heart rate up. Especially if I go up and down several times in a row.

Mick has learned to lay splat on the soft ground and conserve his energy as I trudge up and down the

Hill.

Incline.

Mountain.

Mount Everest

Keep in mind that the mileage on those little legs is always at least twice that of my legs. Sometimes I walk backwards laughing as he races to catch up after following scent on the trail. Raccoon? Fox? Skunk? Squirrel? Bear? Mountain Lion?

I know the little pug sees and hears my effort and is amused.

My comical little pug , We amuse each other, Mick and I.

My yoga place

Long flat stones surrounded by deep pools and tumbling water. A canopy of trees. Blue sky, white clouds. Green in every variation of green.

On the river? In the river? What is the proper term for this magical place?

Standing in mountain pose, hands at my heart, head bowed in reverence to this place, this moment, this experience . Breathing deeply while my eyes are closed I listen to my breath and find myself. Opening my eyes I turn in a full circle. Mindful. In the moment.

The sound of the Rio Blanco as it makes its way through the valley. Birds. Insects. The feel of the sun. Air in my lungs scented with pine and fir.

As I go through the flow of my yoga practice on the rocks there is a connection to creation that is profound and magical. It is the sensation of being perfectly present and in the moment. Hearing my breath, smelling sun water and air, moving slowly through balance and strength. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this time. There is pure joy and contentment as the sun smiles on my face.

Walk lightly. Speak and laugh lightly, as much as possible.Go lightly along your way. Let go of heaviness. Seek that which is light. Gravitate towards joy. Your soul and body will lead you, if only you would listen.

Melody Beattie , Journey to the Heart

Rio Blanco

4 thoughts on “Gravitate Towards Joy

  1. Your description of Mick earned you the title of giving me my first smile of the day. Thank you for sharing the feeling and vision of your day and life available to you. For some of us we need that, but unfortunately can only visit it and at this time in our country travel is not as easy as it once was . . We pray for better days soon.
    Thank you for sharing . .

    Like

    1. Thank you Laurie. There are so many with so many problems and challenges right now. All I can really control right now is me and how choose to look at the world. I would be doing this no matter where I lived. I’m just extra blessed to be retired and living here.

      Like

  2. Thank you, Michelle. This was very well expressed and written – as usual.
    Seems I’m going through similar feelings, pains, and thoughts….we are experiencing wild, confusing, and unpredictable times and that is not helping our individual and personal struggles. One second, minute, hour, day at a time….There is always change. Thanks again!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s