So many things to write about!

The scent of the dewy grass and dirt of the nature preserve. The slippery call of the bluebirds perched on a fence that I passed on my early morning walk. The pink and purple flowers with two fuzzy puppies rolling in them, butterflies made of netting stuck into the dirt to create the illusion of a fertile garden.

I went walking this morning, on the last day of my year of being 41. Tomorrow I step into another year, another age. This has been my summer pledge: to start my days in the way I want to, not rushed and rushing to get things done, get to work, satisfy others.

No, I start every day with meditation but now I’m adding a yoga class or a walk outdoors. Of course, like everyone who doesn’t exercise religiously, the voice in my head was loud today, shouting the reasons why I didn’t have to go, why I should just get in the shower.

But I ignored the voice and stepped outside and wow, did the world come alive, and me with it.

Clouds in the shape of bear paw prints. The fresh scent of water dousing lawns. The rustle of pebbles and gravel on the pavement as I traversed over top. The sound of my own breath as I jogged then walked then picked up the pace.

I walked through the tinkling arms of a sprinkler toward the end and reveled in the freshness of cold water. I thought about the things on my schedule today and the bills on my desk, but nothing worried me or created anxiety – because my heart was pumping adrenaline and the rush of energy soothed me, a louder voice than all the complaints in my head.

Last night, as my husband and I sank into sweet rest at a yin yoga class, I had wanted to write this blog about pigeon pose – the posture I hated most for years, and now which calls to me, beckons with allure nearly every day.

I wanted to explain how the legs go – one straight out behind you, the other bent at the knee and the torso bent over the front leg – and how the sweet release of the IT band and the thigh muscle used to ache and moan and push me away. But now, this pose is what I need.

It was such a clear metaphor, about how what at first is poison, ends up as nectar, as Swamiji says, and what is first so sweet, ends up distasteful on the tongue.

And then I thought, as I walked through my neighborhood, that I’d write about how I far prefer living on this side of town and enumerate the reasons why. My parents and sister live on the west side of these Detroit suburbs, and often I think about joining them in a neighborhood where my children love to ride bikes on paths winding through parks and where so many children play outside in the warm months.

And how last night, as my husband and I strolled through the quiet village of Berkley, a mere two miles from our house, I knew that this is where I belong, that I live where I want to live, and it’s about neighborhoods and towns and grassroots down-to-earth people and just a different perspective than any other little hamlet around here.

It’s an amazing feeling when you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be. That this moment is not something to escape from but rather to settle into. That, as you study for an accreditation exam within your profession, the eagerness to read the textbook is a sign that yes, this is the profession for you, you have found your niche.

So that’s what I’m writing about this Monday morning, a flurry of noticing, an accounting of the details that make my life my own, that make it worthwhile for me, that make me feel so at home exactly where I am, even though the kitchen is far from what I’d like and none of the neighborhood kids are my children’s friends.

We are where we are supposed to be. We belong right here. Sweet relief. Drinking in the cool morning air and all the requisite sounds that come with it – a far off siren, the ambient rush of the highway a mile in each direction, the caws of the bluejays, the screech of the raccoons in the night. This is where we belong. We are here for a reason.

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