As we paddled to shore from our dolphin swim, we noticed a small, dark head about the size of a tennis ball near the reef. A sea turtle. I looked at my partner and said, “I have to go in,” and slid into the water with my snorkel gear. Something in me told me to wait. So I gently tread water, took slow breaths with my snorkel and watched the turtle under the surface from about fifteen yards away. Last year, I nearly collided with a giant, nearly blind, turtle who swam toward me but at the last moment ducked just inches under my body. However, this turtle acted differently and had turned in my direction and glided toward me.
Continued from Part 1….April 2, 2012
This was the day I dreamed of. Years ago, as a massage instructor in 1994, some visionary part of me blurted out at a staff meeting, “Someday we are going to be massaging dolphins!” I found out years later one of my colleagues at the meeting eventually did that! Ever since that day, I’ve paid more attention to vowed and unavowed dreams. Now, my mermaid dream to swim with these creatures in the wild had come true.
Five years ago, I “swam” with trained, bottle nosed dolphins in a water park in Puerto Vallarta. The experience was controlled and rehearsed (for the dolphins) but very magical. Me– along with forty other people in life jackets, clung to the edge of a very deep, outdoor swimming pool. The thrill of resting belly to belly on a dolphin, holding their pectoral fins while they raced across an olympic sized pool has stayed with me ever since. The powerful tail that propelled me felt like a flying horse. I left the pool and experience with a deep desire to connect more with wild dolphins and curiosity of how they would react to me in their presence. I’ve wished to swim with wild dolphins ever since.
Sometimes, just when you think you are as stable and planted as a rock, a force outside yourself takes you for a ride. Whether it’s the water, the wind or a human hand. A rock can be broken in little pieces until it is reduced to fine grains of sand.
Many factors cause change. Resistance can stave off change for a little while, but eventually the flow of life pulls or pushes us. Continue reading
Today is a snow day on the island and through much of the Northwest. Over nine inches of snow mound over bushes, rocks and cars and continues as I write this. Water in this crystal pure form, though gentle, has changed every shape and colored my world white. The muffled quiet insulated by snow is interrupted only by a few high chirps from the kinglets and a long song sparrow serenade in the air. The sparrow perched on a small huckleberry bush looks especially puffed up and black against the snow.
All the details outside have been covered with this white. Whatever was previously scrutinized and put on a “to do list” is buried and forgotten for now. Whatever is underneath this blanket of white must wait until the snow melts. Everything around me has shifted by this turn of color, like the clouds dealt us a hand that was unbeatable. The weight of this accumulated snow has broken tree limbs and downed power lines in some areas. People cancelled work, travel and appointments. This is the time to lay your cards on the table and watch these little flakes of snow slowly take the jackpot.
This radical shift of perspective is what I love about nature. We are moved by the forces of winter, wind, sun, and snow. Even with all our technology and predications, we still are small subjects in the bigger story of the stars, tidal changes and solar flares. Times like these put us humans in our places.
Likewise, I think of the human body and how this physical form is connected to the white snow outside. Illness and injury like the snow, envelops a person’s body to hibernate and be quiet. All the details in life tend to blur and become small. The bigger outlines of friends, family, shelter, food and vitality remain. The connection to feel the vulnerability to the elements, as well as the frailties of one’s body. Without this vulnerability, one doesn’t respect all the elements that go into health and into survival of winter. While illness doesn’t have the same aspects of a “snow day,” I’ve noticed how people, especially elders, who have been dealt a tough hand of illness or injury, tend to respect the forces that give them vitality. The simple things in life– kind words and affection, sunshine, good food, shelter. Winter has a way of helping humans remember these simple things.
There is more to say about how we remember the sources of our vitality. But for now, the snow reminds me that I am warm and lucky to have shelter and food. I am lucky to hear the song sparrow, singing outside my window. I am lucky to have this body to experience the white, quiet stillness of this day. It’s a good day to watch this snow falling on the fir trees.
Snow blessings to you all…
©Annie Thoe, www.sensingvitality.com 2012
The summer time in the medicine wheel is in the south direction which has to do with tracking. We’ve planted our seeds in the spring and our now weeding, watering and tending the garden we planted.
There are patterns in our bodies that reflect our thoughts and dreams. Our posture holds all the actions and activities of our day. When we lie down, we can feel the tracks our bones make against the surface as well as the tightness or fatigue of various muscles.
Tracking these patterns of our bones against the surface of the ground can tell us if we are in symmetry– like a balanced tree or bent over to one side, like a wind-blown bristle-cone pine.
It’s fascinating to track how we are relating to the world in our movements and making either a change in how we relate, or perhaps a shift in our environment– redecorating or reorganizing our homes, offices, yards– can affect our movements. Without tracking, we can’t how we are growing and how we are interacting with our environment.
This special time of summer where we are putting our seeds to test will determine what our dreams will be for the next growth season.
And that is how nature awareness and Feldenkrais intersect.
©Annie Thoe, Feldenkrais Practitioner, www.sensingvitality.com 2012