The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
- Wendell Berry

I dropped our car off to get new tires right after I dropped my girls off at school this morning. I didn't have time to make my morning smoothie before leaving home, and I had some time to kill, so I decided to start walking west in search of food. I ended up walking about 2.25 miles to the beach, but not before stopping at Nekter and getting some juice. I really wanted a smoothie, but this juice just had everything I wanted.

Not too far into the sand, I saw a broken glass bottle. I carefully picked up the pieces with one hand while carrying my juice and shoes in the other. After the pieces of glass that used to be a bottle were deposited in a recycling bin, I continued on to a perfect spot of level sand right before it dipped down to meet the water. I sat meditating for a little while before working through a few asanas. One thought I had was of some woman who might be on the other side of the ocean staring back wondering about some woman who might be me. I want to meet her someday. I want her to show me what her days are like - how she lives.

I'm participating in two yoga challenges on Instagram. Both are in their second day, and it's the first time I've ever done anything like this before. Sometimes I think pausing to take pictures, or working on executing a certain shot gets in the way of my practice. My focus becomes capturing a moment, rather than being present in one. I've found it helpful to record my practice, and pick a frame for a still shot. So far so good. One of the challenges asked participants to do "Wild Thing" pose. It's my favorite.

When looking through the video of this morning's practice, I was a little sad knowing that a still shot wouldn't capture the sound of the waves, nor the wind moving through my hair. But I also knew it wouldn't do it justice. My skin felt the cool breeze, my hair still has sand in it, and my heart can still feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. 

In that moment, I was able to rest with the grace of the world. I was free.

I caught the bus back to the tire shop, and witnessed a quiet act of kindness I want to remember. An elderly man slowly got on the bus with his walker. A young man sitting just behind the section reserved for the elderly and handicapped quickly raised the seat in front of him to make room for the older gentleman's walker. The man with the walker ended up just keeping it in front of him in his seat. As the bus began to move, the young man reached in front and lowered the seat back down. I was touched. I said a silent prayer of gratitude for the young man, for his kind deed, and a hope that even though he wasn't taken up on it this time, he wouldn't hesitate to act in the same way in the future.

I think it's very rare that a kind deed goes unnoticed. It puts more love in the world. And that's palpable. Every single time.


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