I have a garden on the back of my car. And on the back of my body. And on my hip. And on my wrist. I plant gardens. All over myself. And my things. But not in the ground. Never in the dirt. Which is funny actually since I crave that ground connection. The sweetness and moistness of the earth and the dirt, it pulls me. I need to live close to it. My homes need to lay against the earth and doors need to let me out quickly. The earth and dirt, I need it. I need the grounding to the ground.
I am working on grounding without the earth – a practice of restorative yoga, with chanting and meditation, is in the center of this. For a while I was doing this daily. When I first was gifted this practice – and I say gifted in the truest sense – I practiced it every day. I would take myself to the park near our home. Out on the grass - on the earth, on the ground – and, with the sun on my face maybe or deep in the shade of a great and old tree, I would set my intention and move through poses of breath and connection.
Even though the practice is restorative I would make it flow. With the deep and mindful breath that is an integral part of each pose and the chanting of a word to cleanse myself of all that takes away from deep peace, I added a flowing rhythm much like dancing. I cannot help this. I comes out of me this way. The flow-like dancing-ness of movement even in the poses that are unmoving. The dancer in me needs this dancing in stillness, too.
And so I danced through this practice that is a grounding of poses and chanting and meditation every day for over two months. A grounding of poses that plants within myself stability of heart, nurturing of body and honoring of soul. A grounding of poses that are the seeds of my awakening and the flowers that settle along the paths of my journeying. My internal garden.
And then I stopped for a bit. I lost the practice of this practice. I skipped a day as I skipped through my day. And then another. And then another, still. And I became disconnected to myself again and so was not even aware that I was missing this practice of yoga with chanting and meditation that had started to create a deepening of weight in my core and the possibility of a grounding in my bones. A grounding on my own, not only when I was against the earth and dirt.
But now I am in this new place. Of lush green leaves and solid soil. There are plantings all around me. A garden with the last few summer tomatoes still on their vines and end of season herbs in planters gathered in the back of the yard. There are black-eyed-susan’s and leftover lavender. And sweet grass and leaves that have already fallen from the trees. The air is cool already as night settles in and in the early morning when I walk my dog. And the sun, though still warm on my skin, will soon not be able to warm the home that keeps me safe during this time.
It is in this good place that I have begun again to practice my practice. Today I brought this ritual of breath and movement and mindful intention to the back lawn of this house that is mine for the fall. I knelt on the grass and took in the warmth of the sun on my face and my skin. I soon had to remove sweaters and a hat that were necessary in the early morning chill. My body warmed quickly as did Nava’s black fur as she nestled against me despite the movements of my body.
I will continue this practice outside for as long as I can. Knowing that when the cool fall air turns to chill I will need to take myself inside.
In the upstairs bedroom this time. A good room. With low ceilings and full windows that let in the light and the both warm and cool air. I will practice my practice on the floor of this room. Not able to be in the earth any longer. Not able to be on the dirt or grass or in the sun or under the shade of a tree. This time I will practice my practice on a solid, wooden floor that is covered with a light tan rug which has, not quite a garden, two green leaves woven in.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.