Today, for the first time, I rode my bike while wearing a short skirt and cowboy boots. And I kept thinking, Why have I never done this before? I am so in my element. This is so me, so true to my real self. There is sun on my thighs; I rock this bike like a cowgirl on a racehorse. The breezes that normally feel so nice on my face feel ever nicer on my legs, even if they mean I ride a bit one-handed while clutching at my hem. I feel beautiful, I feel strong, I feel womanly, I feel quaint and modern, somehow, at the same time. Life, love, California all riot in exaggerated bliss under my sternum.
Today is also the anniversary of the day my mother died, 12 years ago. Every year as this day approaches, I am cranky and miserable, filled with dread, and I never remember why. Yesterday evening in yoga class is when I remembered, and wept all through savasana.
I almost didn't make it to yoga yesterday, but I had been emptily furious all day, with, per usual, no reason I could finger--if anything my life is filled with reasons to be full of joy--and though I was running late to yoga and hate entering a class late, I knew I just needed to be there. Downward dog has become my spiritual landing pad--I know that sounds like so much California cheese, but it's undeniable--and people around me have always been what I depend upon for a recharge. So yoga, in a circle of other people practicing, always smooths the worst knots my brain gets itself in.
So I remembered, wept, came home and wept a little more, but peacefully, in that way it is a relief to grieve when you know what you are grieving and you can't change it. Being able to grieve that way also helped me find my way back to being joyful about the things I can be joyful about: a practice about to open; a fig tree about to fruit; a husband who truly wants my dreams to come true and acts to make that happen, which is the purest and most solid definition of love I think I could ever hope to witness.
And I am joyful for sunlight and the crisp shadow of my bike on quiet tree-lined roads; joyful for knowing a woman who raised me to see the beauty in trees and to take pleasure in great breaths of good air and fabulous shoes and forward movement. I am learning to resign myself to never being resigned to not having her in my day-to-day life; I want one more talk with her so much, and that hurts me, but I never want to stop wanting it. My life is full in many ways, and she is an every-moment part of how I came to be here. I yearn for the past in ways that pull holes in my heart, but I still race forward on miles of sun, and maybe instead of pulling me in half, moving in two directions at once balances me perfectly and exactly in my present.