Be: Here, Now.

My yoga teacher started class this morning with a lovely Mary Oliver poem (aren't they all?), about attention. Ironically, although I live in the present a lot these days, I couldn't do it during yoga. Every time she'd tell us to center and sink in, to pay attention, my mind would wander. And then I would notice the wandering, and try to focus, and still end up with eyes and thoughts darting around the room. The woman next to me kept doing poses wrong, and I wanted to correct her, or have the teacher fix it. The man in front was huffing and puffing and generally making a new age spectacle of himself. My pants kept sticking to me in funny ways because of how hot and sweaty I was. Nevertheless, it was a great class and a great way to start the day. Here's the poem:

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver (1992)

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


And The Living Is Easy...

Summertime! A time for barbecues and hammocks, for popsicles leaving purple tongues, for dancing and swimming and late nights under the stars. Or, these days, for early nights watching tv, peeking outside and wondering if it's ok to go to bed while it's still light out. A whole new world. Actually, now that the boy is more or less reliable about bedtime, and we have a monitor that works at quite a distance, we've managed a few fun evenings with friends. But those carefree days are behind us - and ahead of us, as we watch our neighbor kids run shrieking through the sprinklers and tumble into a pile, laughing all the while.

We are trying to keep adventuring; we even went rafting, to celebrate the 4th, with baby on board. It was a tame and empty stretch of river, a handful of splashy spots amidst the gorgeous scene, just perfect for his first time out. Hopefully a sign of days to come. As we were de-rigging at the end, we chatted with a guy who said he started taking his kids real young and how his oldest son is a river guide. The future? (And then he slept through the fireworks that night, hurrah. Can't say the same for the dog, but she's always been a fraidy-pup with noises like that. Thunderstorms back in New Mexico sent her trembling into the bathtub.)

I live in each moment. The trees, not the forest. It all seems like it's going so fast anyway. The fish may be jumping (don't know if the cotton is high) but I have small waves of anxiety because I haven't planned for the fall yet. Has it really been six weeks since school ended? How did that happen? Here's how: one day the grimace at the sweet potato becomes an open mouth asking for more, bright orange giggles delighting in this new experience. Squeals of joy greet the sight of the dog hunting her tennis ball, ears flying in the wind, a pounce in a cloud of dust. Grunting marks the hard work of rolling and rolling and rolling, trying to push up, to stay up, to get where you want to go, and finding yourself going backwards instead. Somehow, in the midst of all the ba-ba-ba-ba-babbles, you are growing up, one day at a time.

One of these mornings / you're goin' to rise up singing / Then you'll spread your wings / and you'll take to the sky...