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.
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.
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
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.
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