“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us.”
— Joseph Campbell
With the wind blows in great change, a dramatic shift.
I awoke this morning to the loudest, sharpest thunder, so loud it sounded like it was in the front patio. My bed was in the living room on the floor, facing the open window, looking out. Even with my eyes closed, I saw a great flash of lightning, the storm and thunder rolling across the sky. I pictured the flat landscape around us, the geography and the amount of space and time such thunder and lightning could fill.
It continued to storm and rain through the morning, a dramatic change from the dusty, dry and hot days I’ve experienced here so far. Wendy and I walked through a light sprinkle to have a traditional breakfast of medilunas with butter and jam and a cafe before walking to the ferria de alta Cordoba. We bought vegetables, eggs and eventually wine. Yesterday we spent most of the afternoon at Golpe de Agua, a heavenly piece about an hour southwest of Cordoba. It’s like no place I’ve ever been, truly breathtaking and tranquil. While we sat by yet another incredible river, eating lunch and drinking mate, we watched gray clouds move in and a cold breeze pick up that are still with us today. The storms will be around for the day, likely, and finally, a week and a half into my trip, I know I am different, and it’s a change that goes beyond my sun-kissed cheeks and shoulders.
I’m in a land of star gazing, watching the clouds and sun cross the sky. It matches my place and pace in life, as a gazer, observer, a thinker and a watcher. The quietness of being a foreigner here and not understanding or speaking the language has accentuated my observations, my thought processes. I want to observe and understand more–that is my basis for wanting to learn Spanish.
I now recall what my New Year’s dedications were last year. I can still picture in my head the post-it note on the wall beside my old desk:
SPANISH | YOGA | PHOTOS
Without this trip, I dare say my year would have ended incompletely. So this year, I have three other dedications.
HUMILITY | SOFTNESS | SWEETNESS
in the way I approach people, challenges, situations
in my thoughts and practice
with both the people I love most dearly and the ones I’ve never met
In many ways, the dedications of 2012 continue to come to fruition, over many years, many trips and many experience near and far. This year’s dedications will only heighten awareness, invite stillness, strive for balance and SPACE and FREEDOM.
Wendy reminded me of my yoga journey as we sat and talked after breakfast. Sometimes I forget I’m even on it, having been out of the United States, away from my community for what feels like a long time. But in fact, it’s been an essential element to my trip. Away from my routine, my regular classes and community, and away from even my mat, I practice alone in my room, moving through asanas on the cool tile floor. I use my breath and practice in the same ways, too, to balance; burn through frustration, anger or other emotions that don’t serve me; or to focus.
Just like we hadn’t planned on the rain or storms yesterday and today, this path isn’t what I planned, but it is a choice I made that was right in my heart and true to me. There is no denying that deep down inside of me, something is changing.
The wind continues to blow, the thunder rattles outside, and here, a world away from my regular community, I find great peace.