I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. ~ anne lamott
That’s the thing about Squam – it’s a mystery of grace – hard to capture in words and images. It’s an etheral experience, yet grounded in the earth, trees, cold (sometimes), and the clarity of lake water. We pilgrims make the journey and then every day we trod wooded paths and we break through invisible obstacles. My own, some of which I moved through, others I feel I’m knocking on their door, I now know where they are…
My teaching experience felt gorgeous…stage fright (one of my invisible obstacles) tackles me pretty good the morning before I teach, but such beauty walked through the door each time that I was immediately at ease. Just one soul connecting with mine in the classroom and all my anxiety leaves my body. Lucky for me, a full half of my students had been in classes with me previously so at least I could trust they knew what they were getting into :).
Both of my classes ended in a great stillness…my saturday class in particular was so deep, so so still and quiet that my own gremlins and teaching insecurities crept to the surface for a moment – had I done something wrong? Did I leave them somewhere and they don’t know how to get back? Did anyone want to share, I asked. A soft no… so I let it be and trusted that all was well. Slowly they began to move, some came to chat with me to share…and they were good. Really, really good. Peaceful…blissed…centered.
The next day Bridget sent one of her SoulNotes with this:
“I thought of my three-hour yoga class yesterday, and how after we had twisted, and stretched and downward dogged and laid in corpse pose, we each sat up and blinked and none of us said anything for 20 minutes. We sat there in silence. The silence was not prescribed. We weren’t told to be silent. There was just nothing at that moment that would improve upon the silence. Chatter does not equal connection. Quiet does not mean loneliness. When we let go of our own chattering minds, the emptiness is like the hush of a chapel or a clearing in the early morning.”
On the car ride back to Providence, Elizabeth asked me my top 5 squam moments this time around:
1) Twinkle duty with Jen on Wednesday with Jonatha serenading us from the piano…
2) Listening to Kayte’s talk during our opening ceremony…
3) Celebrating Pixie’s 40th birthday with a dance party and “truth branch” circle of initiation to 40-dom…
4) Meditating on our dock before classes each morning… the lake spirits are so pure and clear
5) All the times the laughter was spontaneous, contagious, loud and snorting… as “lightening up” is my new mantra.
In a purely literal sense, i’ve never gone directly home again after Squam. This time I find myself in New York for three weeks. Something I intended back in May in conversation with my girls Madeline and Deanna – to spend a good enough chunk of time in The City each year to feel like I have a city life as well as my beach life – and here it is, Man-i-fested.
On a metaphysical sense, i’ve never gone directly home again after Squam either…or maybe home has shifted to someplace even deeper and more sacred within me. I find myself quiet, centered, comfortable and grateful in this new space – the stillness we found in my classes has come home to roost and I am good.