Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just a Tiny Strip of Land

Close to noon on Wednesday, September 1st and the temperatures are in the mid-80’s with the sun blazing.  The curling waves crash on the shore just beyond the waving, bright red ‘No Swimming’ flag.  Hurricane Earl has already forced evacuations on the Southern most point of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  I’m not concerned about it; maybe I’ve reached a state of apathia (look it up). 

This past Monday morning I woke early, on my own, to check out a free yoga class in the heart of Duck.  I lightly loaded my back pack, secured my yoga mat and hit the pavement.  The mile run, challenging with the extra, awkwardly placed weight, took me to the center of Duck which was marked with a large bulletin board detailing the local events and activities.  I continued on the trail towards a small pavilion overlooking a large, grassy area when I was approached by three people asking where the class was being held.  I wasn’t sure, but we were early.  In my experience, most full time yoga instructors are historically late without concern.  Within five minutes the grassy area began to fill with people.  As if given some unspoken direction we laid our mats or towels on the damp landscape and waited. 

As expected, five minutes late, a white SUV casually zipped through the gravel parking lot and stopped illegally, close to the pavilion.  A tall, woman with sun-bleached hair walked on to the grass with her too long pants and platform flip flops.  For a moment, she contemplated taking off her flops, but after sight of the wet grass, kept them on and approached the front of the group.  Immediately, she began talking in a loud, yet calming voice.  As she explained the type of class we’d be led through, I was overcome with a little disappointment.  I didn’t want a gentle stretching class; I didn’t want to spend the majority of my time on the mat.  I wanted a strenuous class with DEEP stretching.  The angel of my mind intervened to damper the devil.  I was on vacation, here to relax.  I would not let the plans set forth by this beach bunny ruin the goal.  I’m glad that I came to my senses.  

About fifteen minutes in to the class I was relieved to spend time on the mat.  The sun started to peek over the trees, warming my back; the glistening dew on each blade of grass had evaporated into the salty air - I was on vacation.  Just a few minutes shy of the one hour mark we were guided into a seated position with our hands joined on the heart chakra.  Blondie focused the group and asked us to think of one thing that we wanted to accomplish – a personal goal, perhaps.  She advised us to think on a small scale.  My mind went blank.  I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to accomplish; I’ve been blessed in my life and it was uplifting to have a moment to recognize that. 

This morning I woke early, again without the assistance of my alarm, to change Ava’s diaper and head up to the common area for a light breakfast and a cup of coffee.  There was a yoga class being held at 8:30 am in a loft about 1.2 miles North of our oceanfront house.  I arrived, by vehicle, ten minutes early to check out the joint.  I was ushered into the shop front by a young, native OBX-er and given vague instructions about payment and where to place my things.  I followed her up a creaky set of stairs that led to a loft filled with half finished art work.  I cozied up to the far right hand side of the room, right next to a silk sheet that hid bottles of used paint brushes. 

A young couple arrived just as the class was about to begin.  They laid out their mats, careful not to get too close to me, and our nervous instructor guided us to our backs.  After an hour of asana, including a breakthrough in two poses, we were again in a reclining position resting in Savasana.   I focused on nothing but my breath.  I appeared to have assumed a state of apathia.  Within five minutes I was fully seated with my hands in prayer.  Namaste.  I bowed my head, exchanged pleasantries with my company and headed out the door.  Ready to face another day. 

So, now, I sit in my room – Ava snoozing in the bed next to mine – slightly disappointed that this short time in paradise may come to a screeching halt with the possibility of a hurricane hit.   I’ve fallen out of my stoic state and slipped into sadness.  As I type these words I remember the times that recently passed; those that are fresh in my memory…sweet, beach kisses from my little girl, sunshine reflecting from my love’s compassionate eyes and belly laughs among friends.  I’m trying to find some gratitude…after all, I’m just sitting on a tiny strip of land that can be gone in the blink of an eye.