Sunday. And still in my pajamas. The skies are clear and the air is cold, and at some point I will get up from this desk, get dressed and go to the beach. It is one of those days that – in recollection tomorrow – will be smudged across my mind: leaving just a fraction…
And every time I exhale, I watch a cloud form in front of me. There are glimmers of blue and red in the light of the headlamp. It becomes very meditative: watching the cloud form again and again. Only, instead of thinking about peace and the effortlessness of a Buddhist life, I think about the Little Engine that Could and how it seems every moment is a struggle against stillness. Life itself a disruption, the workhorse of a universe that would much rather remain at rest.
The arctic ground squirrel, on the other hand, does hibernate. Her body temperature drops to as low as -2.9 Celsius. Her heart beats less than once a minute.
She loses bone density. Her teeth fall out, and parts of her brain die.
Then she wakes, slowly.
She builds new bone cells, new teeth, and new neural connections.
She is reborn in the spring.
Voices carry through the vent in the corner of the bedroom. A man and a woman must be just across the street in the parking lot of the nursing home. It’s an easy melody. He’s leaving now, because there is a rise in pitch and in volume: a crescendo. A rising note that ends the conversation with an ellipsis. A car door closes.
Maybe we aren’t meant to think about our feet. Not meant to flatten them against the earth, making conscious contact with the ground. The weight, and the sinking into our bodies, into the earth in Mountain Pose…