One of the first things that I did when we moved to Colorado was find a yoga studio. I needed that part of my life to handle all the stresses that came with the move, and since I didn't have a job, I needed a way to build that community. That's what I found in iThrive. An absolutely beautiful studio, warm and welcoming, and people to match. If you've seen my yoga pictures over the past few years, you've seen the beautiful windows and amazing wave wall of this space.

I loved the space so much, that I chose to do my teacher training there. It was where I became a yoga teacher, where I did a good part of my teaching, and where I found my favorite class. 

And last Friday, I met one Addison - of my good friends, and fellow teachers there - and we (at an appropriate social distance), said goodbye to our home away from home.

One last time, we set up our mats, and enjoyed a practice. We looked at the mountain view, took a few pictures, and then walked out one final time. The Denver area has lost a lot of studios during this time of pandemic and upheaval. In the long run, that may be a good thing, churning out stronger, larger individual communities. But none of that matters right now, because my sanctuary is no more.

I know I will be okay. My yoga is still there for me, even if this particular space is not. The owner is committed to our community, and is looking for ways to keep us practicing together still, both on and off the mat. I will rebuild my teachings in new an wonderful ways. But on Friday, I grieved.


Caught Between

Everything makes me feel nostalgic nowadays. For days of climbing trees, of barbies with my best friend, for embarrassment over naked Santa (what? you didn't have family that were naturists?). My Gram has been gone so long, that she has merged almost completely in my mind with the Grandmother from the old Garfield's Christmas special. She had many things in common with her anyway, but now I can't tell the difference.

I want countryside, maples in a blaze of red, and green green green so lush around me I can feel it without even having to touch. I even look back at March, and wish I knew then what I knew now... how differently I would have started things.

When I'm not feeling nostalgic, I'm ... what even is the opposite? wistful for what's ahead, and may in fact never exist? I long so entirely for a world that might not even come to pass, that I miss it. I weep for the house and the yard, for gardens in a riot of flowers and plants. For moments of quiet and teaching friends in a home studio. For traveling to the ancestral land of Wales that holds so very much of my heart. I pine for choices so very much out of my current control.

What does it say about our current days when I can't seem to escape the nets of past or future?


As Inspired by Braiding Sweetgrass

When I was born, my parent's brought home my placenta and buried it under a lilac bush in our backyard. You could say after that I was raised by flowers, intimately connected to lilacs. Spring would arrive and my Mom would plant. It was her haven, and I would walk among the flowers she lovingly placed in the earth, surrounded the their scent. Flowers still feel like home, the look of them, the feel of them. Fingers in dirt roots me down and I'm back in my childhood yard, the forsythias a riot of yellow as glowing as the afternoon sun.

Like a young child called to pick up every shiny rock, when I'm walking I'm called to come in close to each flower I pass. While I have my favorites, I can't seem to resist inspecting every little bud, their rainbow of colors so pleasing to my eye. They have a voice and a language all their own, and its a familiar crescendo when the rest of life feels like an unfamiliar symphony. Everything has a voice, and when I moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania, it felt like shifting into a new language that I'd only even seen on paper and never heard spoken before. It took me 4 years to learn to speak Colorado, and 3 months of a pandemic to make me feel like I lost my new language.

My one constant though, is the flowers. Their's is a language that flows in my veins, the one I dream in. My exuberance feels like the bright orange of a tiger lily, the ones that naturally lined the dirt roads leading to my parent's house. Once I was old enough, I would walk by them, and gently run my hands across their stems to send them waving in my self-created breeze. On special days (according to the calendar, or just according to us), my Dad and I might stop and take a small handful to surprise my Mom with.

I plant my own inadequate garden now, in pots on my apartment balcony, the flowers in defiance of Colorado "spring." A rebellion of color and texture, placed into soil with a prayer to their being able to withstand the see-sawing temperatures, the possibility of hail, the intense winds that can come in the weeks that follow. When they make it, those flowers help rally me. Together we can withstand. I'm so grateful to have been raised by flowers.