7 AM. The cat blinks at me from his nest of blankets at the foot of the bed, drowsily challenging me to nudge him again and see if I keep all my toes. As I stretch and reach for my glasses, though, he’s up and pacing across the carpet between the bed and the door, between the door and the top of the stairs, up and down the stairs as he waits impatiently for me to make my way into the kitchen where his food bowl is sitting –gasp!– almost half empty!
I pull on my yoga pants (because this Druid is also all Young Urban Professional-y) and manage to get my creaky, not-as-young-as-it-used-to-be body downstairs and onto the mat. In a few minutes, I’m flushed and sweating, my flabby bits jiggling a little as I work to hold each pose. I am not as strong as I want to be. I am not as flexible as I want to be. I am not as young or nubile as I want to be. (Okay, well, maybe nubile, technically, but not for long.) But my body, beloved animal, isn’t minding much what it is that I think I want — her heart pounds, her breath comes long and steady, her blood warms the chill of morning from her bones, and for a moment I am deep in the joy of saluting the sun, my goddess, my intimate star.
Sitting in meditation at the end of my workout, I can feel my soft underbelly opening up under the persistent caress of the sunlight, unfolding slowly into the cool, calm, quiet morning that surrounds me. With each gentle intake of breath, I invite the world within. With each exhalation, I go out to meet the world. We mingle, our boundaries rubbing up against each other, me and the world, each unfolding inside the other. The cat, too, decides he wants in on the affection and runs his long, furry spine along the fingertips of my up-turned hand. His purr is a rumbling like distant thunder or a tiny earthquake. He has forgotten that I have not fed him yet, satisfied with the half-full bowl still waiting for him. We have, each of us, remembered what it is we really came here for.
In the shower, I close my eyes and let the water run over me. Within that darkness behind my eyes, in the depths of my body, my blood courses, kin to the water and to the steam that fills the room. The energy of the morning gives way to connection and flow, finding the balance I’ll need for movement and dance, even if only as metaphors. I whisper a prayer to the sea and storm and mist, that liminal threshold, my god and lord of deep places.
This is a good day. Fruit for breakfast, and a big glass of water. The air is bright and clear outside, and my partner and I open all the windows in the house (much to the cat’s immense but lazy pleasure). The late summer wildflowers in the backyard are nodding to each other under the murmuring weight of the bees. Even in the city, the noise of traffic is muffled by the rows of brick houses and cozy, old apartments criss-crossed with alleys and driveways, yards divvied up by faded wooden fences that all seem to have gates with rusted, broken locks. As I settle down to my work in front of the computer for the day, I feel refreshed and grounded, grateful to be nestled within this beautiful world, buffeted playfully by its currents, shuffled about by its moods.
Not all days are as perfect. My spiritual work is like a filament of intention strung up between pegs — sometimes taut and humming with energy and hope that moves me easily and eagerly from practice to practice, but other times hanging limply in low loops that seem impossible to pull tight again. On those days, I do my best to return to my spiritual work. Breath, movement, attending to the world around me. These are the pegs, those points of nexus and connection, that keep my intention tuned — like the tuning keys on a guitar’s head or along the neck of a harp, that we turn and return to with trust and gentleness, making those small adjustments that keep us singing.
On day’s like today — I find it best not to mess too much with things. To hold my gratitude lightly but firmly in my center, and to get busy making the music that is the Song of the World.
This post is part of the 30 Days of Druidry creative writing project.