Dear Beloved Dancers,
I write to you from the beautiful Klamath Mountains of southern Oregon. Roy and I decided to do a little getaway in a cabin in the woods. It’s quiet here. There’s a serenity that gracefully seeps into my being as I spend time in the wilderness, held so gently by the trees. It feels intoxicatingly good to slow down here; to notice how the light shifts and changes throughout the day, to feel the caressing breeze on my bare arm, to attune to bird song in the morning. These are not things I normally pay attention to at home. I rush around too much, trying to get things done. But here, in this secluded cabin, I feel myself coming into balance. I feel my body come into center. I’m not pressing ahead. I’m not resisting, or leaning back. I discovered this quote today on my morning tea bag, “Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.” That line is by the poet Karle Wilson Baker. Yes! I am surrendering to nature and letting her bring me back into alignment. I like to think of it as a gift from nature, that I get to see wild animals, like the 3 deer we’ve seen and the adorable little kit fox who greeted me outside the kitchen window early this morning. He lightly jumped from boulder to boulder, then sauntered down the driveway. I almost squealed with delight. A fox, so graceful and at ease within its body. I learn from the fox. I learn how to move, how to slither and playfully jump. I learn how to hop from boulder to boulder. You see? This little fox has taught me so much about the movement of the body! I wish I could dance with you tomorrow morning and try out my new foxy moves! Ha!
I miss you and I hope you are well. I hope you’re taking care of yourself (body, mind, spirit, heart) and each other. I hope you’re finding some pleasure, some joy. . . .like a walk in nature. . . .that nourishes your soul and heals your heart.
I wish you much loving kindness, Sweet Friends.
Let’s keep dancing together and keep strengthening our moving meditation practice so that we can feel that ease of being, so that we can feel connected to each other and to nature (just like fox).
It tickles me to tell you that our beloved Claire will be the one holding space tomorrow, bringing her incredible talents for combining supportive music and deep wisdom to us in the zoom room.
There’s the helpful link!
And here’s the marvelous poem:
Weathering by Fleur Adcock
Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well: that was a metropolitan vanity, wanting to look young for ever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy men who need to be seen with passable women. But now that I am in love with a place which doesn’t care how I look, or if I’m happy,
happy is how I look, and that’s all. My hair will grow grey in any case, my nails chip and flake, my waist thicken, and the years work all their usual changes. If my face is to be weather-beaten as well
that’s little enough lost, a fair bargain for a year among the lakes and fells, when simply to look out of my window at the high pass makes me indifferent to mirrors and to what my soul may wear over its new complexion.
The line here that speaks to me most acutely: “But now that I am in love with a place which doesn’t care how I look, or if I’m happy, happy is how I look, and that’s all.”
I wish for you happiness (or at least some contentment; realizing that “happiness” might be a stretch in these chaotic times) and to be in love with the place you find yourself in.
Wait, wait, there’s more. I just thought of one more magical poem by Mary Oliver (of course) that I’d like to share. It’s my hope that you find it inspiring.
When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”
Sending loving kindness and the hope that you might shine,