I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

I awaken to a sound I have not heard in years...Actually, I have not heard it in decades...

I KNOW it is not the sound of an airplane gone amiss, or flying too low - either arriving or departing from nearby Dulles Airport...

I know this sound - I recognize the unmistakable "OOMMMM" - exploding from the bowels of the earth, and I know it is an earthquake...

The earth's core - its very heart - will not be ignored. It has cried out to us. And it is doing so in a place where it has never made its presence felt like this!

I remember the first earthquake I experienced, at 15, in 1970, in the Dominican Republic - its magnitude was 6.5 - and I had just been operated and had my appendix removed. I remember the huge metal bed in the hospital shaking all over the place and I have vivid memories of an aunt who shielded my face with her body - and in an instant - I literally saw my whole brief life flash before me like a movie. It is true. This really does happen. I really thought that moment would be my last!

I flash forward, and think of this past month - and how in the small community and family of local Anusara Yoga practitioners I belong to - a few have celebrated both life and death. My own teacher, Suzie Hurley, lost her aunt and welcomed a new granddaughter into the world on the same day. And this morning, shortly before the earthquake, her own mother transitioned - daughter acting as midwife to her own mother, while she was being welcomed into eternal life - as Suzie herself so beautifully described it...

And just two days ago, it seemed like the whole Willow Street Yoga community - students and teachers, gathered for the beautiful memorial service for Harper Grace McIntyre - beloved miraculous baby of AJ and Jeff McIntyre - a child who came into the world and left it - so briefly - almost as if it transpired in the very same breath and its retention - a sacred "kumbhaka" in which the Divine embraced and received this child back again...

We all gathered to celebrate the life of this "Borrowed Angel" who touched so many lives so profoundly. The minister, Rev. Mark Greiner, beautifully wove the essence of the Christian tradition and its themes of resurrection and life - with the Tantric teachings of looking for the good in everything - and our own Anusara First Principle of opening to grace in every moment and every experience...

On this day, I feel the earth move - not so much under my feet as I heard Carole King sing so passionately, barely a month ago - but under my bed. I am reminded of the fragility of life. And of its mystery as well. We who believe, truly know - there is no such thing as death - just a mere passing from one plane to another. It is still painful for us to endure and experience - but it is also an invitation to experience joy. Every life is a gift...

I think of this, as the cave of my heart holds two beloved teachers and friends right now. I think of this, as I consider the community that supports them - both locally, and globally. I think of this, as I am reminded of that mightly "OOMMM" coming from the bowels of the earth. And once more, I realize - we are all one. We are - each and every one of us - an individual thread in the tapestry of life - each one of us adding our own unique color and hue to the whole design. For those of us who teach yoga - I offer the image that we are each a part of the template - and a pose - or its preparation - in the whole sequencing of life's practice...

The earth moved and spoke. And for a brief moment, it reminded me, of what is ultimately important: To live a life committed to loving everything and everyone to the best of our ability - and to always embrace the gifts life offers to us with a resounding - yes!

Comments

Jocelyne said…
Nice, Olga. I too was in Bonao, 1975-77, and was shaken by our earthquake here in Ottawa June 23. And like Barron, was hit hard by our friend's death in May. Reminders to enjoy life as we know it.

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