walks 29-31: hatha

fusciaHatha is the branch of yoga which is most practiced in the West. It can be translated as “sun (ha)-moon (tha)” A practice of duality—strength and release, stretch and contraction.

Walk 29 August 13: The light was so pale in the morning, and I was troubled by the sound of a dog crying intermittently in distress, perhaps Midas wanted to go out? I circled closer to the center, crunching on the yellow and brown leaves which grow in numbers at every walk, and saw that the lacy plants, half daisy half mushroom had returned, along with the littlest maple trees.  A man with groceries pulled up to the pastor’s house, and stared at me walking, I started thinking about how I act like this is my space, but must always remember I am a guest. I sat at the center and saw the rows that form the path before me, and they looked all the same. I had awoken with a feeling of anger around a nagging problem at work, and disliked that people were not getting along or agreeing to make any compromises with each other.  As I circled out, I thought about real pain, real tragedies, Gaza, Michael Brown, our collective sadness of the loss of greats such as Robin Williams and Bacall.  But still I breathed bitterness in and out.

Later, I went to Chestnut Hill, and the sun became very bright on the cobblestones. I sat in a coffee shop and saw a large woman with grey curly hair, a blue and white sweater and a beatific expression serenely cross the street, and I thought I had never seen anyone more beautiful in the sunlight, although this true beauty would never be thought to sell any magazines. I walked out and greeted several people, because I suddenly saw them as I see the flowers in the garden. I had a wonderful early afternoon with a gifted teacher and best PA friend who taught me to hit golf balls at the country club. Positive reinforcement works. Later, back to work and some more dis-ease.

Walk 30 August 13:  The day continued to deepen from pale to brighter and brighter hued, and the afternoon sun drenched the garden, and it became alive with color, 2 doves and a robin were startled by my approach. In the center, the sky was interrupted by an airplane. I bowed my head surrendering to the end of the day and all its differences. I made my arms ‘like ropes’ the way I was instructed to on the green. I found I could look ahead and the patterns were emerging for me in a new way. Time seemed to slow and I noticed every part of the path in detail.  I think golf and the spatial relations required had opened up something for me.

I learn that there is flooding in my hometown of Islip. My sister in law posted a photograph of the old movie theatre on Main Street to my wall. I wish I was there.


Walk 31 August 14:  The sun and the moon were both in the sky and on a certain moment of the walk the moon hung directly above the church spire while the morning sun blazed through the shade tree. Patterns of sun crossed the paths of the labyrinth. I drive up now and fall into a state, this morning it was flavored with gratitude  and I remain there as I slowly wind my way around. I think that this is my season, the season of my life stage. Summer is still here but autumn is everywhere. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I will find more kinship with November. When I am on the path, I am never sure where I am precisely. I don’t know until the path ushers me out at the last turn.

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