The Equanimity of a Eucalyptus

IMG_6741One of the downsides to being a light sleeper, currently in possession of an overactive monkey-mind (yes, imagine, post-Camino?!), is that I’ve been waking at the oddest hours – and then, typically, finding it all but impossible to fall back asleep. Especially, the last few days… including this morning.

Imagine all your brain’s synapses firing off simultaneously, or at the very least one after the other in quick succession such that it is no longer viable to back off the launching pad. Well, that’s sort of how it’s been for me…

What has saved me, to a certain extent, is yoga – and nature. Early morning, silent moving meditation on the cusp of dawn.

When the notoriously loud blasts of winter struck against the windows early yesterday morning, I was already tossing and turning. Done for the night. No going back to slumber-city.

Lying on my side, I reluctantly succumbed to the call of the wild-brain. I cracked my eyes open a bit and the first thing I saw was the yoga mat lying at the far side of the room. A long rectangular blue thing unfurled, lying in wait. It beckoned. All I had to do was get on the mat.

I dragged myself out of bed in the semi-darkness, wrapped myself in a fleece and got on the mat. My backside was not a willing companion, wanting nothing more than to fall back into bed. In deference, I took it slow. Facing a window that looks out onto the park in back, I stood, unmoving and with eyes closed, for a few long minutes, wondering how long it would take my body to root itself.

By the time I opened my eyes, the park was enveloped by a sad, weary and colorless sky that looked as if it too had just dragged itself out of bed. But center-screen, framed by the window, was a tall, solid tree trunk, steady in the howling wind, while its limbs swayed IMG_7295and trembled to nature’s wintry tempo.

Fine, tree pose it is. The sole of one foot against the opposite leg, my arms inched their way up towards the ceiling.

With my gaze fixed on the tree in the backyard (not the one in the photos!) and my arms outstretched, my mind began to decelerate. I imagined being back on the walking path, ensconced in a vast grove of eucalyptus trees.

Solid – even if, in some cases, super thin and spindly-looking. StunnIMG_7320ing. Neck-craningly tall. From seed to skyscraper-height (ok, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly) in two years. Breathing in its inimitable grace and fragrance.

And wondering what more would it take, despite life’s occasional storminess, to reach the same level of equanimity.

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