Author Nan McKenzie
The full moon in March is not quite as spectacular as April’s, but it has its moments. Like when the goofy Canadian geese Vee across it, honking like hounds, saying, “I’m here, where are you?” “I’m here, are you there?” When the wind is whipping horsetail clouds over the face of it, when it’s raining and the full moon light is still bright behind the heavy clouds, when there is one fat planet pretending to be a star, trying to rival the moon for its brightness, hanging over the lunar shoulder.
March in Montana, popularly known as “Suicide Month”, when winter is still beating us up with cold, snow, ice, rain on the ice, flooding in the streets, the basements, garages. Even through closed windows sometimes you can hear crabby people arguing over nothing, or something too important to ignore.
Grass on the lawns is flattened, not even daring to peel their green heads off the ground. I become so starved for a glimpse of color, for flowers that don’t come from the florists, that I stay inside and watch TV, disappearing from the nasty reality of outside.
And yet, there can be a couple days of spectacular sunshine, melted snow races down the streets, a whole passel of early robins gather in a few big trees, scoping out nest sites, checking to see if that cute female is old enough to mate this year. Ravens coo to their wives, chuckling, flipping high on thermals, in love with life.
Another silly made-up holiday blitz fills the stores, the bars, green everywhere, everyone wanting to claim kinship with the Irish, when one hundred years ago, signs were posted all along the Eastern seaboard to greet the starving folks arriving in steerage from Ireland. “NINA”, the signs said, “No Irish need apply.” My grandmother, Nora Kelleher, was one of those, sent away by her family at sixteen because they couldn’t feed her, arriving in Boston in cold March with twenty-five cents in her shabby pocket. Nora found work in a shirtwaist factory for six bits a week, just enough to keep her alive. How quickly we all forget, how easily things change.
It feels like we are all waiting on tiptoe, wishing winter to be completely gone and for April to bring us fresh breaths, new hope, a clear love. And color, finally.
I have found yoga, friends. And rather than beat myself up for not beginning my practice decades ago, I am so grateful to have found it all.
I completed a questionnaire at my first session. It asked me for basic information about myself, injuries that might affect my practice, and the ubiquitous Where did you hear about us? I answered Word of mouth, but the truth was this: I had seen two of their instructors on the main street of our little town and thought, I want what those gorgeous, unfussy, healthy women have. Every woman I know who practices yoga walks with a grace and purpose.
As with any new endeavor, there was much more to be gained than firmed batwings and good posture. I’ve learned the value of meditation. What used to be a waste of time (Let’s get on with the task at hand!), has become my favorite time of day. After practice, meditation is the tingly relief of a quiet body. At home it has become a time of being, listening, and sometimes prayer.
My 21 mile drive into town is a frequent blog topic—a long drive but a shorter distance than my old commute through a large congested city. The lovely drive changes every day as 2014’s Mad March melts our heavy accumulation of snow, ices over, and then snows again.
On my way into yoga this morning, fog hung over the small valley at the base of our long hill, and I was reminded that my drive, this miraculous place that offers yoga to breathtaking scenery, is my source of meditations and peace and well-being.
Burden of Breath will be available for free download March 20-21.
March Madness is the theme for our first-week blog this month. Such a juicy topic. How many mishaps will be confessed? Mine was a simple piece of idiocy. I stopped by the eye clinic to pick up my new glasses and wore them when I left. After pulling into traffic, I decided I should not be driving with the new glasses. Things looked a little wavy. I took them off and laid them on top of my purse and made it home just fine. When I pulled into the garage, my cocker spaniel(Katy Lou) jumped into the front seat before I could grab my glasses and one of her big paws lit right on the glasses and broke the temple from the lens. Wauk! Good grief. My brand new $465 glasses were injured. I put Katy in the house and drove back down to the clinic, and they figured they could reset the temple. Couple hours later I picked them up. Katy is very thankful that they are as good as new, and no charge. Wow, what more will this month hold?
She is a picture of innocence. Marie F Martin