It’s that time of year when the world around us changes really fast, if you stare long enough you can almost see the growth with your own eyes in real time, it’s happening that fast.
I was walking in the woods last week, when almost all the trees were still bare. I’m sure by now, only a few short days later, those woods will not look the same as they did last week. Anyway, I was walking, and I was noticing the changing colors. I was noticing how a few of the trees had little specks of green, I noticed how the moss on the downed tree stump and the rocks in a little stream were a deeper shade of green. I noticed how the forest floor was speckled with yellow flowers that weren’t there the week prior.
As I was walking and noticing those shades that weren’t there the week before, I was thinking about how easy it would have been to walk by those small changes, to be distracted and fail to notice the deepening green of the world around me, the new colors in the world around me. I was thinking, if I had been even slightly distracted by something else in my life and mind, I would have walked by all those changes without ever noticing they were there.
I was thinking about winters in our own lives, perhaps you’ve been in one metaphorically as we have in our seasons. I was thinking about how often we walk through harder times, we all have them, and we can walk right by those little shades of joy, love and peace without noticing, without seeing, without living into that joy.
I hope, if you are in a winter in your own life, you are able to see the small shades of green and the shifts in colors this week. Perhaps those small shifts are so tiny that they are hardly even noticeable, and perhaps we will still be in the middle of a winter even when noticing those little joys...but maybe if we take a little time to really slow down and notice, we can see our life in a little more technicolor this week.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends.
My sons and I were walking in the woods a couple of weekends ago, enjoying an absolutely beautiful (almost) spring day. The two of them were deep in conversation about a particular video game they love, and I was trailing behind them, just enjoying the trees, the creek, the birds...noticing the buds on the trees beginning to show, not quite there yet, but almost there, noticing that we’re getting on to my favorite time of year, that intoxicating green of spring.
We got to a spot on that particular trail which is forever in my memory, and I got right back to that memory. I was recalling a summer day, probably 7 or 8 years ago, when my boys were much smaller. On that particular day I was sitting on the bank of that creek, enjoying my afternoon, and my kids were swimming in the creek, enjoying a hot DC summer day.
That day my boys found this massive log, and proceeded to spend all their strength dragging that log upstream, hopping on the log, and floating downstream...hopping off the log and dragging it up the creek again, getting back on, and lounging down. They spent hours doing just that, their whole afternoon was spent with that log.
As I sat there, enjoying their adventures on the side, I was thinking about how that act mirrored a trait we talk about in yoga, and one that permeates in life. Effort and ease, finding the balance in effort and ease...both in our yoga practices, and in our everyday life.
I do believe there are seasons in life where we will have more of one than the other, where life won’t feel as balanced as it should, and collectively I think we’ve been in one of those seasons this past year, some with too much effort and some with too much ease and little ability to control the situation we happen to find ourselves in. But perhaps this week we can strive for a little more balance in our effort and ease in our own life. Perhaps this week we can look at ways we can shift so that we feel more balanced.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends, I am so very grateful for you!
Remember those beautiful, repurposed columns from last week?
If you wander through Rock Creek long enough, you’ll probably stumble across the rest of the Capitol stones, tossed out behind a maintenance shed, left to molder. With no ability to sell or throw away the old Capitol stones, the builders did what they felt they could do, they threw them in Rock Creek park.
The first time I stumbled across these stones, I laughed out loud. I had heard tell of them in the past and I was always curious, but I didn’t know where they were. As I was walking on my birthday last September I stumbled across them...in plain sight, right off a big trail. It felt like I had been transported to Rome or Greece, these beautiful remnants of a different time sitting in the open for anyone to come across. These days I make it a point to walk by them regularly, they just make me smile.
I was thinking, as I walked by those beautiful stones, how I could have just walked by them without looking and noticing...and how often in our lives we fail to stop and see the beauty right in front of us, we walk by it without ever looking, without ever seeing, without ever noticing.
May we, this week, see a little more of the tossed out beauty around us. May we notice, may we see, may we look for the things that we might have otherwise passed by.
I hope you have a fabulous week dear friends.
If you’ve ever been to the National Arboretum, you’ve probably seen the old Capitol pillars. When the addition to the east side of the Capitol was added in 1958, these columns were removed, and were moved to the Arboretum in 1984.
If you’ve been to the Arboretum, you’ve probably seen engagement photos or family photos being taken, they are a fabulous backdrop and are strikingly beautiful.
My son and I were walking in the Arboretum several weekends ago, and I was thinking about those columns. They held a special and important purpose when at the Capitol building, and their purpose has changed into something entirely different from what the builders originally intended for them. They are not as they once were, they do not have the same purpose.
But even in their different state, they are still so very beautiful, they are still so special. Their purpose might have changed to something entirely different from their original intention, but that doesn’t mean their meaning is lost.
I was thinking, as I was walking with my 16 year old son, how those columns mirror life. My relationship with my son is fundamentally different than it was 16 years ago, and in a few short years will be entirely different again. Our relationship through the years has, and continues to change in essential ways.
But it’s not just with kids, right? So much of our lives are spent adjusting to new and different phases of relationship with those in our lives. Sometimes that adjustment is ease-filled, and other times it is profoundly hard. Can we, this week, find a little more beauty in the new and different phases of relationship in our lives, both in the easy and the more complicated? Perhaps we can embrace the new, and find meaning in the repurposing of the old in a fuller way. There is beauty in the old, and there's beauty in the new, can we see that beauty and value it a little more this week?
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends. I am so grateful for you.
Many times when I walk in the park I use that time as a moving meditation...I am not walking for exercise or to raise my heart rate, I am walking with the intention of allowing my mind to find some stillness. Some days it is easier than others, we’re all human, I’m sure you can relate.
A few days ago I was walking, and I had a dilemma that was preoccupying my thoughts as I walked. Honestly, for most of the walk I didn’t fight it, I just hashed over this particular issue. I was still enjoying myself, I love being in the woods, but there was certainly no meditative quality to most of my journey that particular day.
As I continued to walk, I suddenly realized that I had spent this whole time going around and around in my head about something that I wasn’t going to resolve. I stopped myself by the creek, took some deep breaths, took in the sights and sounds of the water, took the picture below, and continued on my way with a much clearer head....for a bit.
On I went, my head filling, me stopping and breathing and redirecting my thoughts, and then continuing on my journey...head filling again, me stopping and breathing and redirecting my thoughts, and continuing…
There is beauty in the stillness, but I think there is equal beauty in the work, in the redirecting.
May we find a little more redirection in our busy minds this week dear friends, and, instead of being discouraged when we have to stop and redirect, may we perhaps see a little more of the beauty in the work of redirection.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends, I am so very grateful for each of you!
Krista is a yoga and fitness instructor based in Washington DC. She has an online studio with all sorts of different class types!