I started doing yoga regularly at the end of last year.
After trying yoga a few times in the past, I was never really a fan. I really do love my time swimming or running or biking. However, I found that yoga has provided a great wind-down for the day and I became a regular.
(It also helps that my son loves it, and walks around suddenly saying, “Tree!” and standing in position. Adorbs.)
It’s become a great way for me to be aware of my body, particularly as it’s been fighting chikungunya for the past year. I can daily evaluate where my pain is and how intensive it is.
One of the Gaiam videos I have done over and over ends in relaxation pose, where the speaker talks of feeling where your body rests on the ground and the weight of your body on the earth. He reminds us to be thankful for another day lived with our weighted presence on the planet.
The first time I listened I started to cry, thankful for another day here. And since then, each day and each yoga session has meant more to me; for another day, weighted and present here.
Sometimes that is thankfulness for another day with Oak, here together as a family of three. Some days that is a thankfulness for another day completed, with Oak, fighting through a battle.
Some days I am weighted with thankfulness for our nearly ten years, right here in this community and in this house, and on this ground that has become so hallowed to me. Sometimes I am weighted by the days spent here, and the weight I tend to carry in from my friends, pressing me into this ground while I wish to fly away.
Some days I can hear my husband in the next room, praying with our son and singing to him as he goes to sleep, while I feel the weight of our lives together. Some days I feel the lightness of the gift he is to me. Other days I feel the weight of what we have experienced and waded through together, right here, on these floors that sometimes covered with water or sweat or blood.
This tile has carried so much of me, of us.
Some days I am thankful for the ability to move and stretch, feeling light in my capacity. Some days I am sad that an unlucky virus months ago has left certain muscles still aching, and I can’t hardly believe how some muscles feel 31 and others feel 131.
And then now, there are days where I realize not all of us will be able to have our weight on the earth day after day, as another virus spreads around the globe. Sometimes I feel thankful for my son breathing easily in his bed in the next room, my husband singing along to the music, with air in our lungs. Sometimes I feel worry for our parents sitting just beyond a travel ban.
These are such odd times.
Now, I’m doing yoga with Oak while we hang out at home. His preschool is canceled and we’re doing our best to keep our house not the hub of the community.
There are some positives: I’m loving the extra time with Oak. I’m loving the family time. That is a unique gift to receive ten months into an adoption, and we’ll take it.
I’m trying to focus on that.
In other ways, I’m terrified of what waits around the corner. While we pray Covid doesn’t hit our neighborhood, it will be tragedy if it does. Even as it hits Thailand and our town just twenty-four hours ago, we wonder how day-laborers, who live on daily wages, will make it past tomorrow. If there is no work, there is no rice. Pantries and refrigerators and cupboards don’t exist. Even now, as the shop down the street is closed, I wonder what the coming days will look like.
And that’s just eating, assuming we all stay healthy.
After seeing how hospitals in Italy and America have been over-run, I can’t imagine how our little border town medical establishments will fare. (The same town that gave me the wrong vaccine for my first dog bite and only found one break in my finger instead of two.) I’m nervous for supplies and ventilators; for how treatment will be given to those without legality, let alone insurance or universal healthcare. I wonder how the hidden caste systems and hierarchies will affect those who get treatment and those who don’t.
And I worry for my poor, illegal migrant friends who can’t even get six feet from their whole family within their own home. I worry for their lack of running water, and how that translates for washing hands.
How do you keep a pandemic out of a slum?
(I don’t like that word. I don’t want to call my home and my friends homes a slum; I want to call it a community or a neighborhood. But I know what you will think of with those words, and it usually doesn’t evoke images of one-room huts with outdoor “kitchens,” no running water, and shared “bathrooms.” So forgive the word, but apply the word picture that comes to a Western-reader’s mind.)
So we wait. We are trying to be wise. We are trying to be hopeful.
We are trying not to worry about our visa situation, where we will be overstaying our stamp ten days from now. We are trying not to worry about our visa situation, where we might be required to leave and Oak might be required to stay.
We are trying not to worry about Oak’s paperwork, that might be further delayed. Perhaps this process won’t even be completed as cross the five year mark next month.
We are trying not to worry about what we might see and experience in the coming days and weeks. We are trying not to be concerned about the decisions we might be forced to make.
Instead, I have my son doing downward dog right under me, his new favorite way to yoga. We are making tree poses in the swimming pool and falling over with a splash. I am ending the day, laying on the floor in relaxation pose again, thankful for another day on this tile, another day with breath in our lungs, another day with this little boy giggling beside us.