This evening was my first Thursday evening in a long while that I didn’t go to the yoga studio and teach. It felt strange at 4:30 pm to not be getting ready to leave for work. I looked at the clock at the exact minute that class was supposed to start, when the new instructor would introduce herself and officially take on teaching the prenatal class that I had loved teaching for nearly a year. She probably asked the mothers to go around the circle saying their name, how many weeks along they were, and how they were feeling today. I missed hearing from the mothers, seeing their growing bellies, being in the presence of that sweetness.
I realized at 8:00 pm that my restorative students were already thirty minutes into their class. I wondered how the new teacher was doing. I hoped that she was enjoying the honor of leading students into deep relaxation, knowing that they were bringing great benefit to themselves by finding stillness and focusing on the breath.
I felt anxious not working tonight after so many Thursdays of being committed to my job.
Instead of leaving for the studio, I stayed with my children and watched Toy Story 3 while my husband mowed the lawn. It was nice to be still, to be close to them. My son got antsy and kept trying to get into things he wasn’t supposed to touch. I felt tired and hoped that my patience would hold through dinner, bath, and bedtime.
My husband came in from mowing the lawn, showered, and joined us on the couch.
“Our first Thursday together in a long time,” I said. He smiled, and nodded. He was tired from the yard work.
We made a simple meal, sat outside at the square table on our little concrete patio, held hands and sang a blessing before we ate. We enjoyed cucumbers from the garden, carrot sticks, pasta, each other’s company. The children had their baths, and it was such a pleasure taking my son up to his room, dressing him in his pajamas, helping him in his bed, tucking him in, singing to him as I stroked his hair. I was so grateful to be there.
Previously on Thursday evenings my son was already sleeping by the time I got home, and I often felt wistful knowing that I had missed another opportunity to tuck him in. My daughter was almost always awake in her bed when I returned from work, almost like she was waiting up for me. I would go straight to her room, tell her how happy I was to see her. I would ask for a squeeze from her, and she’d wrap her arms around my neck and give me the best hug ever.
Tonight was different. Tonight I was there the whole time, through dinner, bath, and bedtime. I was there with her as she settled into her bed, and I told her how glad I am that she is my little girl. She looked straight into my eyes and said, “I love you mama.”
It sure can be complicated to have human emotions. How is it possible to miss teaching my Thursday night students and feel my heart bursting with love and gratitude for my family all at the same time?
Ahh well, I don’t need life to make sense–I’m just glad that I’m a part of it. Time for a poem, and then meditation.
We only have so much time,
Let us choose wisely what we will do with it.
Those tiny moments that make up our lives will never come back.
Seize this moment to be with those you love the most.
Find joy in the simplest of things:
The taste of food,
the way the light turns golden at sunset.
Know that there is nowhere else you need to be,
nothing else you need to do,
but be right here and breathe.
Do what many beings have forgotten how to do: