Yoga is my Dad.
I’m laughing at myself over a sad moment I had this morning. On my way into the Perfect Cup coffee house, I saw a neighbor, someone who lives down the street. There was eye contact, and I moved on (thinking that there was something unfinished about that moment). When I was ordering my coffee I realized that I was waking up. There seemed to be a scrim between me and the gals behind the counter. How am I? I am waking up! Sorry… I had slept hard on Bill Schwartz’s article.
On my way out, I was moved to talk to this man, an African-American man with these cool little round glasses. He was alone. I wanted to ask him about his daughter. He hangs out with the coolest little girl.
So, I said, “Hi! Good morning, do you have a daughter? I think I’ve seen you with an adorable little girl. I’ve just been thinking about fathers today and wanted to say ‘Hi'”.
“It might have been me, but there’s another guy who lives up the street, too. And my daughter just moved to Texas.”
His eyes did light up when I mentioned a daughter! But this wasn’t what I expected. I wanted to talk to a father, the fantasy father I had made this guy out to be in my mind. The guy I had seen holding his daughter’s hand in the sunshine, and in the rain as they joyfully walk down the sidewalk. I hadn’t seen them in a while, actually…
I said something like, “Well, Good Morning!” And I turned for the door, reached for it, and tears started pouring from my eyes.
And when I got onto the train, I realized that what this man had given me was the truth. What I was unknowingly asking for was an affirmation of perfect fatherhood. He had appeared like an ideal Dad (and he very well might be a wonderful father for his daughter). But I was looking for the one who would always be there for the little girl that I am no longer. I just imagined that he might tell me that he was someone’s ideal Daddy (and I still might have left the coffee house crying).
My Dad wanted me to be strong. Maybe he knew that I would need to be. Of course there is a complicated back-story, but at this time I think it’s enough to say that we don’t see much of one another.
But I love Daddies! I love pretending that some other little girl or woman has a perfect Daddy. So it is fun for me to talk to men about their daughters. I love to hear about what they did together, the fun that they had. And what they made for snacks.
A dad’s attention can give a daughter a shot of joy juice. It is this juice that I now associate with yoga.
And so, perhaps, yoga is my father. Every day, no matter what is going on in my life—recently a friend ended her life with pills—I can still touch joy in the cells of my body when I do yoga. It might sound sick that I can touch joy in the face of suffering, but it is such a blessing. It allows me to share smiles. Grieving is certainly important, and I’ve cried a lot over the last couple days.
And it’s important to live! To live life while we can.
Thanks, Dad! And if you are someone’s father, just know that you are the most special person ever.