Tag: <span>gratitude</span>

greatgrandmadietrichThe forest path is no longer hard and dusty. Underneath, soft ground springs forth gratitude. Broken branches from recent wind and rain, break easily in my hand, a gift for the fireplace. Toe shoes spread and distribute weight, causing me to feel more sure-footed than age would suggest.

Gratitude expands as this morning’s fierce cold dissolves. Clouds dance off to the horizon in graceful patterns, and overhead I see a bluer blue. I have already walked over 7,000 steps today.

Later as I rest in the dining room, late afternoon sun streams a golden light through the quiet space. From behind me, the west window is reflected upon the room’s east wall. The image of the window looks wide open, as if the solid structure of the house has mysteriously dissolved.

My Great-Grandmother Dietrich, who sits at her spinning wheel inside my father’s painting hangs slightly to my left. She looks down at her work as if seeing nothing else. She appears self-contained with a secret strength. The image haunts.

Generations of lessons learned, patterns repeated, or re-arranged, give me an impetus to move towards what is still unknown. I get up. Not yet done, I go outside to greet an orange sunset and practice walking meditation as the last daylight brightens pavers underfoot.


(c) Gudrun Mouw

November 10, 2015


Journal Entry

A student called me today and expressed the feeling of having lost herself. What could I say? I remember menopause. I remember my father-in-law with Alzheimers¬†questioning over and over, “Where am I?”

My answer was always, “You are right here.”

On occasion he would respond by saying, “Good sermon.” He had been a preacher who started 30 churches in Indonesia. He did not approve of me being a yogini; but, in the end, he didn’t argue with the truth.

My student and I agreed, at the end of our conversation, we would both go for a walk. We live in different towns. She would seek out her walking area, and I would enter the nearby park to find that trail which has not been maintained for years.


Each time I choose this trail it seems easier to lose the path. Over time, I have found this particular challenge to be a good way to practice dealing with my initial and instinctive panic reaction. When I find myself disoriented, I stop, take several yogic breaths and tell myself, I am here, nowhere else. I am exactly where I need to be. How can I be lost?

I manage to avoid poison oak. It is very prevalent here, and I remember how there were times when I thought I might never be able to enjoy a free-wheeling California nature walk. Now I have mugwort growing around our property as my perpetually available medicine against the itchy nuisance.

I give myself permission to turn around whenever I wish, and I do. After all, I have found what I am looking for–gratitude. Resolving to check in with my student to see what gifts her walk brought about, I return. The circle feels whole. The afternoon deepens, and a breeze refreshes. Birds chirp, cheep and hoot, and the earth continues its healing mission.

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