Thursday, August 2, 2012

Where I Went and What I Went For*

Yesterday in Massachusetts was a gift I gave to myself.  I did a lot of nice things, to me, with love, from me.  Because I needed it. Here I go vaguely alluding to a difficult transition in my life here, but please be patient with me. 

Being away from home for a couple days was a welcome shift; it meant there was no work, cleaning, or laundry to do, no kids to wrangle or entertain.  I slept well at Kristina's house, and woke up to strong coffee and a whole day before me.

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." Henry David Thoreau

Yes, sir.  I will indeed.

I started at New England Yoga Studio with a 90-minute hot yoga class in a beautiful studio. The teacher said a lot of things I needed to hear right now, about opening your heart to allow room for good energy to enter.  Sun salutations, warrior poses, and some awesome hip-openers. 

At the very end of a challenging class, during shavasana, the teacher came up behind me with eucalyptus spearmint oil on her hands.  She pressed my shoulders firmly to the floor, elongated my neck, and then rubbed oil on my forehead with strong fingers.  I felt so blessed. 

I then drove to Walden Pond.  It was a beautiful day, and I felt quiet and meditative.  I'm doing a lot of reminding myself that I'm okay, that I'm strong and capable and fine. 

 "As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. "  H.D.T.

Oh, Henry.  What a cool little house you built.

More true words from H.D.T:

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think...You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
 I then swam just shy of a mile in Walden Pond, thinking of Thoreau and the time he spent here living deliberately.  The water was so clean and cool.

Then I deliberately laid myself on the beach and fell asleep.  I not-so-deliberately got a sunburn on my back.

The rest of the day, well, it involved taking my sweet time in Trader Joe's and some other beautiful grocery store, and cooking dinner for Kristina.

Black bean, corn, zucchini, tomato and lime salad with quesadillas and arugula salad.

 I met Kristina through the blog world and this was the first time we spent together in person.  It may seem weird that I went to her home and stayed for 2 nights after only having met her briefly once at a race, except that it wasn't.  We know each other through our blogs, we have a ton in common, especially right now, and she welcomed me at a time that I needed a getaway, needed a knowing ear.  We drank good wine, ate good food, drank strong coffee, watched the Olympics and she helped me hash out some hard stuff.
Life is hard.  Strong, inspiring women friends make it better.  This is the beginning of a long friendship for sure.    Thank you, Kristina, and bless you.

*  The title of the chapter of Walden in which Thoreau says:  "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" is called "Where I Lived and What I Lived For."  Just in case you're not an English teacher.


Kristina said...

So wonderful to have you visit my "halfway" home for my friend in transition. Thank you for company and amazing food! Can't wait to get together again soon.

Emily M. said...

I hope you're feeling rejuvenated; it sounded like a much needed trip. I'll be thinking of you.

Willow @ My Own Trail said...

It sounds like your two days in MA were just what you needed. Glad you got some time to think and process whatever transition you are facing. I read Kristina's blog regularly (I found her through your blog) and I'm so excited to see the two of you hanging out together. It's fun when bloggers become friends IRL :). I'm a big fan of Thoreau's and find myself quoting him regularly, so I enjoyed seeing his words on the page. It made me taks a step back this morning and reframe some things that are swirling in my mind right now. It's exactly what I needed. So, thanks. Good luck with the transition(s).

Anonymous said...

I took my first swimming lessons in Walden Pond (back in the early '70's)!