As I've written about lately, both here and for the Riveter blog, Autumn is a transformative time full of inconsistency and instability. Routine is an antidote, but it can be pretty hard to find a good rhythm and stick with it. Just like the leaves swirling around on a windy day, we often feel blown about in our day to day lives throughout fall. What helps ground our bodies and minds in this season? Well, quite literally, feet on the ground. In yoga, we aim for lots of poses standing solidly on two feet and focus on our connection to the earth. It doesn't have to be a studio practice though.
Yesterday I got the chance to walk. Usually I find walking too slow these days. I need to get to where I'm going, asap. As my son and I exited the city bus at his preschool stop, I saw a #2 trolly heading the other way, the one I'd hoped to catch back to work. The next one was at least a 20 minute wait. We walked into school, he settled in happily for an art project, and I was out the door in a couple of minutes. I thought briefly about sitting and scrolling through the news. The bright sunshine inspired me to start walking instead. Maybe I'd beat the bus to work. At the very least, I'd get some exercise until it caught up with me. I had nothing to lose. And so I headed off, on foot. Instead of doing more in the extra space I'd found that morning, I did less. I got to my office at the same time I usually do. Along the way I breathed fresh air, passed beneath colorful trees, moved my body, and feasted my eyes on the world instead of my phone screen.
Feet on the ground, crunching leaves. The sunshine on my face warmed my spirits. My thoughts went to the poem I'd read on the On Being blog a few weeks ago.
“Love Wants to Know How”
Autumn comes with its riot of death,
its clarion bells of color,
drives the living green to ground
even as it thins the veil between worlds.
The visible and invisible walk now together
with arms outstretched over fields
where workers hasten to the harvest
none may divide against itself.
So: where are you in this?
How long do you loiter
between the said and unsaid,
the done and undone,
between the half and true rhyme
of a life answering a life?
Geese mark the sky with dark wedges,
call with harsh tongues
to what thrives at the margins
of all we so reluctantly receive.
quickly and with great force,
toward what burns in your dreams
at the dying of the year.
Who can say?
Perhaps you reap the whirlwind,
perhaps the harvest—
but is it ever enough to not know
the bonds and bounds of what will one day
forsake you for the grave?
So: where are you in this? How long do you loiter between the said and unsaid, the done and undone, between the half and true rhyme of a life answering a life? What happens when you take a walk in the world, when you move your whole body instead of just your thumbs? What do you find?