After a long hiatus, I finally taught yoga. Not in a studio or a spa like I used to, though. Group fitness classes are specifically not allowed under current public health orders in New Mexico, a decision I support. But personal training is allowed. I taught a private outdoor class in a student’s carport, twelve feet apart so we could be unmasked even with deep breathing and with my voice projecting. A typical New Mexico carport is a detached shade structure, open on all sides, not part of the house, so the breeze blows through. Perfect for outdoor yoga. The cat walked through, giving us a humans-are-weird look. It was the first class I’d taught since early March, and she hadn’t taken a class since the end of February. I look forward to doing this weekly, the exchange of positive energy that is teacher and student.
I pick figs daily in the front yard of my apartment building. The treasure hunt of foraging for ripe fruit, the embrace of greenness, pawing my way through the tree, getting deep into its leafy arms—I take as much pleasure in this as in fresh figs. I give half of them away. Birds, wasps, and ants nibble their share of figs, and I often emerge from a dive into the tree with a tiny spider in my hair. Immersion in the branches reminds me of being a child climbing trees, and gives me an odd sense of being one of my distant ancestors. A hunter-gatherer living in a forest.
It’s been stressful just to be a human and an American lately. Though my stresses are lower than many people’s—I’m Anglo; I can get by without my yoga teaching income; writing fiction is work I can do alone at home; I live in a state with a lower infection rate than its struggling neighbors; and I practice a lot of stress management skills—I feel the impact of what’s happening. You’d have to be numb not to. I’ve been feeling the grief of the whole country, the losses, the tragedies, and the outrages, as well as dealing with the necessary contraction of my social life. And then there was the stress of this Thursday’s errands: getting a mammogram during a pandemic, going grocery shopping during a pandemic. Getting ready to head home, I reached into the box in the back seat for music for the drive. My hand grasped the CD Walela from 1992. Beautiful choice by chance. Healing and uplifting.
Yes, this is another RAIN post. It’s the monsoon season. Rain is sacred in New Mexico. It’s a manifestation of spirit, not just the hydrologic cycle. One of those July magical moments appeared, rain in the distance as a curtain across the landscape, a few drops on my windshield, and then I was in it, smelling it, hearing it, my little car being washed with a blinding blast of it. Wind flung rain sideways across the road, and this song came on in the middle of the storm. Circle of Light. There are no images with the video, so you can close your eyes and imagine a New Mexico monsoon while you listen.
I’ve been disappointed in my fellow humans at times lately, yet most of them are kind, patient, considerate, and loving. And the people who go to work so others can eat or have medical screenings are also brave. The occasional jerks I encounter stand out, but they too have souls and hearts and are capable of love, though their public behavior might make me think otherwise for a moment.
The song blew through me like the storm, cleansing and powerful. All of us, all of us, are in the circle of light.