Monsoon Yoga

Holy buckets of water Batman!

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What do you do when the house is clean, you’ve already written the great American novel (unpublished as yet…a minor detail), the laundry’s done, and rain is thundering down? Build an ark? I could, but that’s kind of stealing someone else’s idea.

First I slept in. My phone said 9:18 a.m. when I peeled back the mosquito net and rubbed the sleepy dust out of my eyes.

Then I made a boiling mug of Nescafe, mmmm, drank it on the yoga platform contemplating the sheets of water cascading from the roof.

Then I made another boiling mug of Nescafe.

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Serious rain. This calls for Leonard Cohen and incense. I found Leonard in iTunes and lighted the sweet, tangy dupa. Ahhh, the perfect environment for monsoon yoga! If you’ve never practiced yoga two feet from cascading sheets of water with the inimitable Leonard’s dark, scratchy voice just barely audible above the downpour, I can tell you, it creates a rather rare and wild mood! Truly delicious!

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King Dancer in the rain

Here’s a glimpse of my world. Who took the photo? I had 10 seconds to position the camera, hit the button, and strike the pose. So for you perfectionist Iyengar yogis out there, cut me a little slack if my form isn’t perfect!

I wish I could put into words the exquisite thrill of this morning. I’ve always liked the rain, but here I’ve grown to love it. When water forms a solid wall of sound, and the wind brings a dewy film of moisture to my skin, a shiver of excitement vibrates through me.  It is as though the rest of the world disappears. I have shelter, and music, and the day is mine to explore uninterrupted. Does that make sense?

Oh! Gotta go! Leonard’s singing  Nightingale and I have to join in. It’s like singing in the shower. There are some things you can do better during rainy season. Belting out a song at the top of your lungs is one of them. And I’m told a lot of Balinese babies are made in January. The communal lifestyle where everyone hears everything puts a bit of a damper on some activities, until it rains!

A Storm, a Flood, or an Optimist?

I’m waiting for the storm. We may get 3 inches of rain tonight. For my friends in Indonesia who read this blog I know that sounds like a non-event. Trust me, in the midwest it means flooding. Unlike Bali, our ground isn’t equipped to absorb all that moisture so quickly. On the other hand, we may not get a drop. The sky can brood and bluster all it wants, but in Minnesota that doesn’t guarantee anything.

So I’m watching the lead-colored bottoms of the clouds with anticipation. It’s a cozy feeling. Intimate. And it can turn to abject terror in moments if the wind begins to rage and trees topple over. I felt inspired to write a quick Haiku:

Clouds form gray mountains

The air waits breathless and still

Nothing else happens.

The storm that never comes is a lot like expecting the worst. I’m a shameless optimist. I always (yes always) anticipate the best to the point of neglecting to prepare for less agreeable alternatives. I have a friend who is the opposite. He always imagines every conceivable disaster and prepares for it, just in case! I tell him he frets enough for both of us. I have another friend who worries but does nothing. I neither worry, nor prepare, just go blissfully on my merry way oblivious to dire circumstances lurking at every turn. As a result I never get sick, never have accidents, never seriously hurt myself, and have an average happiness factor of 9.9 on a scale of 10.

Personality differences are of great interest to me. I didn’t one day decide that I would be an optimist. I just am. I’m sure my friends didn’t set out to behave as they do. They just do. My three daughters are unique and wonderful and very happy, but unlike each other as they could possibly be. Why is that?

Thousands of words have been written about this subject and there are many self-help “how to be happy” books. But if you’re like my worrying friends, its a difficult task. Happiness doesn’t come naturally to them. It’s probably possible only in flashes, like lightening, then quickly followed by an ominous roll of thunder, which I haven’t heard yet tonight but the wind is picking up. I’m going to find a spot on the porch and settle in to watch what may, or may not, happen.

Summer storm approaches

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