The rain made for a quiet weekend which I was grateful for. It was just the two of us, and it was nice to see him slow down for a couple of days. Sometimes I think he has no idea how much he accomplishes in a day. A couple of sunny days would have put him to work, but the rain gave us permission to turn away, have the lake to ourselves, the winding dirt roads to ourselves, camp to ourselves.
I’ve been thinking about returning to day to day life as just us. I think we’ll be good at it; I like us. Life was different eighteen years ago, the greatest aspect being that prior to parenthood, life did not include internet or cell phones (internet came to our home when Emily was four or five). Remember life before the internet? It’s easy to romanticize and suggest things were simpler then, I’m sure they weren’t. But they were quieter. Maybe that’s what people mean when they pine for simpler times and are criticized for doing so. Maybe it’s not a simple life they’re looking for, maybe it’s a quiet life. Maybe it’s the need to expend more energy than is received, because how is a person to manage the intake of stimulus without physical release.
About ten years ago I was in the midst of a difficult time (crisis, if we're being specific), while simultaneously working closely with one particular yoga teacher. Knowing my tendency for a fluid, movement filled practice -- lots of hip openers, twists, binds, etc -- she suggested I scrap my current practice for the time being, and switch to something entirely earth based, strengthening. Legs and arms rooted in Goddess, Warriors, Dolphin, Plank, Chair, and so on. It might not be a stretch to say that it saved me. This practice got me through that difficult time, and became my fieldwork for understanding the importance of strengthening the physical container in order to protect the spiritual body. We forget these things, of course, but it’s nice to remember. And return.
Life has never been simple, but it has been quieter. And if we cannot rearrange our entire lives to accommodate the level of quiet we seek, at least let us strengthen our ability to stand in the chaos, to be of service to ourselves and those around us. To let the soft animal within expose what it was made for.