Since adolescence, I have been an avid journal writer. I learned, over time, to go back frequently and read through my journals in order to get a feel for certain themes and patterns. I haven’t been doing that much lately and right after breakfast this morning, I decided it was the right moment. I open my current journal to the first page and am shocked that I had begun it over 4 years ago. I remember many journals that ended after just a year. Becoming a grandmother has been a rich and beautiful distraction.
The current journal begins with a quote from the Gospel of Tomas: “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.” I do not remember how I came by this quote, but it still seems incredibly relevant. The next journal entry spoke of tumult I had been experiencing in one of the yoga classes, because of a particular student, who I considered to be difficult at the time. Looking back, I see that the problem got resolved, because I was, finally, able to “bring forth” my anger and speak truthfully about the situation….
I escape outside to do yard work before it gets too hot. This morning’s fog didn’t last very long. Living on over an acre next to a forest, there is always much to do. I consider fire clearance work to be a year-round effort, and this year I feel an even more urgent need to be diligent in the face of California’s drought. I recycle water from the kitchen sink to care for plants that have survived an unusually dry and cold winter. We have long given up on a lawn.
I like outdoor work, raking, weeding and hauling away dry grasses to our compost pile, not minding the lack of help. A long-ago yoga student, who in exchange for my role in his life as a “spiritual/yoga advisor,” used to come once or twice a week to assist me in the yard. I lived in Santa Barbara at the time. The garden was overgrown in spite of the professional crew who came once a month. My student and I talked yoga stuff and life stuff while we pruned and watered. It was great fun.
Near noon, more tired than usual from nursing a burn on my right hand, my glove was beginning to irritate the healing process, and I come inside ready to “bring forth what is within.” I treat my wound, have a well deserved lunch, smiling as I write this, because what is within is a sense of peace and contentment that comes from having worked hard, without agenda, without resentment, with enthusiasm and perfect timing.