I watch on TV as the rain pours down from San Francisco skies, into the open mouth of Marco Scutaro. The painted face of a fan bleeds orange and black, runs down and into the creases of his neck, the collar of his shirt. It’s not raining here yet. But it’s coming, it should get here in about 30 minutes.
So I head up to my room, crack my window and wait. My room feels different, like I don’t even know the person living in it. That’s how I’ve felt for weeks. So off. Physically and mentally and everything else. Not incredibly emotional or anything at all…just…off. Funky. Not like myself.
I think that I feel this way when I haven’t been climbing outside in a while. I really think that’s a big piece of it.
I hear the rain start. It reminds me of last night, at about 3am, when I am waken up by the pounding of rain on my window and an upset stomach. The room is cold but my body feels hot, my stomach cramped. I hug my knees into my chest while laying on my side, the rain gets louder as the wind whips it into the window. I try laying on my back, on my belly, knees bent, legs wide, rubbing my stomach…nothing helps. I try to breathe deep and eventually fall back asleep.
Tonight though, I hear thunder in the distance. Fall thunderstorm. I need this. The thunder grumbles, grows loud, dies down. The rain quickens. Another round of thunder, this time louder, sounds off. I look around my room and for a moment–I feel it again. I feel like myself again, like that magic I felt all summer while on the road, living out of the van. It’s back. That real, organic kind of me is back. I smile a little.
When I first started practicing yoga in Georgia, if I slipped into a deep savasana I would have this vivid image of a girl with flowing brown hair sitting high on a branch of a eucalyptus tree in the middle of a forest. The sky and air is gray and it’s lightly raining. She leans against the trunk of the tree, legs dangling. She isn’t happy or sad or anything, she is just there, watching the rain and sitting.
A pretty hippie-ish image, yes, but I always remember that on gray days or rainy nights.
I think of that image as the thunder starts to die again. It’s quiet for a few moments. I’m still feeling like Georgie, like myself, and I grasp onto it. Want to hold it forever. And then, almost like that, I feel funky again.
It makes me smile, laugh almost.
I am laying in a hard bed, scratchy sheets cover my legs. I roll my head to the right and look out my bay window to Lago Atitlan, glittering under the stars. I had done about three and a half hours of teaching yoga, and another two hours of practicing yoga that day. An afternoon massage. Fresh fruits and vegetables all day. My body is exhausted and content, my lower back feels open, the space in between my shoulder blades, malleable. That afternoon, I had put my right leg behind my head–something I, or my stone-like IT bands never thought to be possible. I felt open. The loft that a nice French family is letting me stay in for the week doesn’t have hot water or good plumbing, but has no lack of bugs and critters. A firefly that hitched a ride inside on my rain jacket flits around the dark room, lighting up every few minutes. I blow out the candle on my night stand, close my eyes and my body is screaming at me. Screaming with gratitude, with joy, with pleasure, openness, love. Just four days, I thought. Just four days of treating my body absolutely perfectly and I feel this good.
I slept well, dreamed of swimming in deep, clear water, being able to breathe underneath the surface.