Ten years ago this month (I’m certain) and this week (I believe), I walked into a yoga studio for the first time. A little more than a year after leaving my first marriage, I was fearful, longing for home, and closing myself off from facing the pain of loss. The end of daylight savings time had just brought early darkness to my New England coastal city. Like I’d recognized 15 years earlier, I knew I needed exercise to get through those darkest hours – literal and figurative.
I had toured the local Y and had the membership packet in my bag. I had also googled yoga. There was one studio in town and the owner taught an all levels class that night. Turn right to join the gym. Turn left to try yoga.
I actually flipped a coin. I don’t remember now which was heads and which tails. But yoga won the toss.
Thinking back on this anniversary, I pulled out my storage box of journals earlier this week. I wondered whether I might have written about my first yoga class.
Nope. Mainly the pages were filled with angst re: my rebound/transition relationship which was about to enter a steep descent only to crash and burn. The first reference to yoga was in early December. “…I’d closed myself up and felt the familiar isolation and insecurity without realizing what I’d done. Yoga opened me a bit on Tuesday…”
I also found this entry from the same fall:
Almost at the house, I remembered that it’s a full moon. I looked but couldn’t see it. So I came inside and checked the paper. Moonrise at 7:30. It was 7:15. So I took a risk. Changed clothes and shoes and walked down here to the wharf. A longer walk than I remember and it’s overcast.
But I was rewarded. Followed my gut to walk to the end. And there she was – huge + red + just on the horizon. Nicely framed by the masts of the schooner…and almost as quickly, disappeared into the clouds. It can’t be seen at all now. So now I’ve had a mediocre dinner, but I asked for the anchovies and I saw the moon.
Reading this, it took a moment to remember which wharf I meant. Oh yeah, that year. That city. That apartment. I have no clue which restaurant I was eating in. And truly, no memory of the fantastic moon I describe. But I can remember a bit of the feeling that walking at night by myself, dining by myself, asking for my order to be fixed, all of that felt like “a risk”. And I can picture standing on the dark, damp street corner near the commuter rail station where I flipped that coin.
Go out and look for the full moon tonight. Whether or not you see her, you’ll have opened to possibility.