We were on the way to school this morning. Stopped at a red light, Sully asks me what ash is. I explain to him, using logs on a fire burning to ash, as an example. The words that come next push out of him like bees leaving a hive and they fly straight into me, stinging. So Abby and Magic (our cremated pets) were burned to ashes? And he starts to cry a little. The light has changed and the car behind me honks because I have forgotten what I'm doing all of a sudden.
My four year old brings me back to center. His wondrous thoughts and his words pulled from a deep well. I tell him that after school we can talk more about ashes and about what happened to our beloved pets. I need a few hours to claw my way up out of that well that I so unexpectedly fell into myself. To find my own clear source of language that tells the truth of death and fire. How that is only the end. That Life lives before that. I want to give him what his mind and heart are capable of processing - something that will leave an image in his eyes that is less sorrowful, more light, but still the truth.
I went to try out a new yoga class yesterday. I have been off my mat since the year I became pregnant with Theo. The beginning of this year was pocked with unexpected health scares for me. As I received my test results over the course of weeks, each one coming back "beautiful" "textbook perfect" "ideal", I collected those words like sea shells and tucked them into my blessed I've-got-life-pocket. Grateful, I spun those shells around and made some deals with myself. I'd be more diligent about sunscreen. Make significant heart-healthy changes. Let go of some bad mental habits once and for all. Feel what my whole being is capable of again.
I knew right away that I wanted yoga back in my life. I did some research and found a class at a little locally owned studio. I bought an orange mat. And then I tucked all that away for a few weeks to allow my mind time to catch up with my heart.
As this week started, I knew I would also start the class.
I opened right back up in a sad and beautiful way, gently reminded of the truth: Life waits for us if we've fallen behind. My muscle fibers pushed and pulled until I remembered what my body is capable of doing. I shut my tearful eyes as I held a pose and felt the beauty of it, a release. But mostly I smiled at the loveliness of a small softly lit room of women and a teacher who used the most lovely words and held my hand or suspended her foot against my foot so that I could find my organic energy - that energy that is not slack but strong and full of life and requires us to do a little work to unlock it. I ended the class knowing I had found my way once again. I found the group I knew deep down I needed as much as the yoga itself.
I sit here now reminded that I have lost my way many times but I always seem to find it again. Beautiful people and places have come and gone. I have birthed two babies and found at the bottom of the well the strength to pull the bucket up and tell my dying father, "It's okay Dad. You can go." Even though... And today I will root around for some words to cast a luminous light on this dark vision that Sully has about fire and death. I will try to explain to him the truth as best as I can - that Life lives before all of that.