Sometimes my senses are crazy technicolor dream-like sharp. I can also sleep walk through the most important moments, but sometimes I’m all in.
It was a fresh morning late this spring-the rush to get my kids out the door had just passed. I sat with my first cup of coffee in hand. (Complete with essential non-dairy flavored creamer-Lord help me, what is in that stuff anyway?) I looked around at all that begged for my attention. Balancing work and family, some weeks I faired better than this. This one was ugly.
I sat contemplating if my Friday morning Yoga class was a good idea. Wavering, I looked down at our ten pound oatmeal colored pup for guidance. “What do you think Tucky, do I go do the Yoga thing -or do I deal with one of these piles?”
He thought it best that I go. I love that dog. After a ten minute drive to a nearby church that hosts my class, I found that the parking lot had three times the regular number of cars. Parked on the circular drive was a hearse. Behind the hearse cars lined up with those little magnetic flags attached to the hoods-the ones that say “I’ve lost someone-please move out of my way”.
I parked and watched for a moment. Funeral attendees slowly made their way to the building. Fellow yogis walked in slowly too. I moved towards the door wishing there was a service entrance or something. Freshly planted flowers lined the church’s sidewalk-bright pinks and reds nestled in black moist dirt. Just before I reached the doors I looked down at my clothes. I mirrored the level of disorder I had waiting for me at home. I wore Yoga layers in the most awful way, a hot pink tank with an orange t-shirt over the top. I paired my four year old look with gray, used to be black yoga pants. I was grateful that my mismatched socks were my secret-but oye my hair was no ones secret.
I walked through the doors and directly into a reception area. With my purple mat in hand I scan the room wondering how I might inconspicuously cross and make my way to class. I caught the eye of my teacher who was both trying to be a wall flower and guide her students into an alternate classroom. I crossed the room filled with mourners and linen covered tables. My eye caught an open shallow box upon one of the tables, boutonnieres laid inside, each a dark red rose.
Thankful to be out of the funeral attendees sight, I made my way to the second floor. Squeezed into a small space, we started our practice. Even so, my mind stayed on the first floor. I thought about whom they celebrated, whose life they reflected upon from the pews below us. Air moved easily in and out of my lungs. I paused, recognizing the gift in something so effortless-my breath.
I thought about the newly planted flowers lining the walkway and the freshly cut flowers pinned upon dark suit lapels in the sanctuary. Soft new-age music filled our room, yet my ears were drawn to the muffled sound of “When The Saints Go Marching In” escaping from the sanctuary.
Some time of quiet followed the old hymns before laughter erupted spilling far beyond the sanctuary doors. The sound of a life with rich moments. It made us smile at one another.
Leaving I tried to sneak through the crowd the way I had going in. Tall easels with dozens of pictures displayed on heavy poster boards now lined my exit. Upon them were snap shots in color of aging grandparents surrounded by family. There were photos in black and white, photos in sepia, and ones with hand-painted touches, pastels painted upon lips and cheeks.
I drove home with my windows down and my sunroof wide open. With fresh air blowing wildly through the car’s cabin contentment washed over me. I was grateful for my unorganized, chaotic, beautiful life. I was grateful for that morning, for my smart dog, for the chance to listen in to the celebration of someones seemingly rich life, for freshly planted flowers, and for freshly cut lapel ones too.
More technicolor mornings like this please. Thank you Jesus.
Tucky it seemed hadn’t done anything with my piles-there they remained upon my return.