Friday, March 13, 2015


What is that saying - Denial ain't just a river in Egypt?  Well, when the temperature breaks the freeze mark all week and the sidewalks flood with snowmelt and my houseplants unfurl with luxurious green sighs, I have to admit it: spring is nice.  There is a tick in me, a broken stubborn knot that insists always on being a little contrary.  It's not conscious, and I like to blame it on being the last-born in the family, but it is true that when anyone declares something ugly, I will search reflexively for the beauty in it.  Don't you tell me what to see! is my gut internal reaction.

I've been reticent to declare winter difficult, to admit that grating cold might do more than make our house pop and groan.  It might just be doing the same thing to my cranky heart, and all the people around me moaning about the weather might not be so crazy after all. 

We went to Lake Michigan last weekend.  I felt pretty cool picking my way across the frozen lake among fellow pilgrims, as if we were in the know somehow and had meant to stumble on such a sight.  There were just a few pockets of ice that opened straight to the lake. I couldn't believe how cavalier some people were near those ledges.  Then again, I was wearing the baby, so I was extra-special careful and superstitious. 

In yoga class this week, the instructor - someone I had never met before - asked if everything was okay.  Before that, a woman approached, put her hand on my knee, and said she was sending good intentions my way.  It took me a minute to put it all together. I guess they interpreted the somewhat langorous way I have of stretching, and one particular forward bow I like to do for, like, ever, as signs of defeat.  It made me laugh but also humbled me, like, I really need that lady's good intentions, you know?  Whatever it is people are offering as help, I'll take it. 

When I first discovered yin yoga, a style where you hold poses gently for extended amounts of time, letting the body unfurl at its own pace, I was pretty blown away.  Sometimes I feel like a little elbow grease is called for to accomplish my goals, but lately, I find my life asking me to slow down, to cross six things off my to-do list and go to bed early with my baby.  I'm still blown away by this, that no matter how much my mind thinks it can muscle its way to whatever it wants, what I really need is to take a breather. 

Tim once drew a pie chart that filled in 80% with school and friends and walking the dog, and left 20% completely blank as a way to illustrate how I was overloading my days.  This might sound condescending but it was perfect for our house and went up on the fridge at the time.  We even passed it on to someone who dubbed it "The legacy of 80%." 

There are Sanskrit names for this dance and Jason Crandell, a columnist at Yoga Journal, has an excellent article about ease and effort that I'm basically too lazy to quote right now, but there were several petite miracles this week involving me giving up and then seeing exactly what I dreamed of unfold beautifully later, without any force of my own.  Huh.

All right, that's all.  I just wanted you to see these pretty pictures of the lake!  


P.S. This post was written in a velour bathrobe.  I just thought you should know how serious I take this yin stuff.


  1. Love all of this but probably nothing can beat that last photo of Samantha--ghahahdaaa!!!!


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