April 24, 2012

The Birds, the Bees and the Nor’easter.

Credit: circotasu

The mercury registered a whopping eighty-two degrees in Pennsylvania last Friday.

For good or ill, I took this opportunity to get “productive.” I filled two flower beds with a summer mix. Into a newly purchased terracotta planter, I sowed the beginnings of a summer herb garden, cut back the rose bushes and plucked from the mulch several handfuls of trespassing wild ramps.

I contemplated a world in the process of renewal as I wandered about, shaking dried earth from the pungent ramps.

Spring had sprung.

Summer could not be far behind!

Bumblebees, butterflies and red-breasted robins coursed through the sky, two-by-two, like little kamikaze pilots engaged in a dangerous mission: the free-fall of amorous rendezvous.

Their frenetic trajectories shone against the bright blue sky. Spirals, curves, curlicues and hearts. They conjured the black, broken lines in cartoons or  comic books, communicating through warble, through buzzy flap of wings.  Pop! Bam! Kabow!

Energetic, insistent, consumed. Maybe they were madly in love. Maybe they had inadvertently ingested some variety of hallucinogenic concoction.   Perhaps a combination of both.

Yes, spring can be a pretty sexy time.

A certain handy little limerick, taught to me some twenty-five years ago by an elderly aunt, came to mind.

Spring has sprung/ The grass has riz/ I wonder where the birdies is.

I realize, in retrospect, that it may also have been a double entendre.

(It was pretty heavy stuff for a young one).

Ahhh last Friday—the warmth, the sun, the perfume of blossoms in bloom.

And today, Monday? A heady Nor’easter sends temperatures plummeting.

Six inches of snow, freezing rain, temperatures in the low-thirties. I am curled into a little ball, insulated by a blanket just retrieved from storage.

What goes, Mother Nature?

This post is the post-modern version of me standing in the field, shaking my fist at a sky which is chilly and dark and now expelling little pellets of ice upon my head.

The definition of crazy.

“You’re doing this in vain,” someone says. The villagers laugh and stare and point. I recognize futility when I see it. But I do not stop.

(I am not yet at the point in my spiritual journey where I am able to practice non-attachment to weather patterns).

“But it makes me feel better,” I reply, with the reticent warble of the robin red breast taking shelter in the rafters of the garage.

So, fellow yogis and yoginis, what can we say (beyond the usual slightly uncomfortable comments that the Armageddon must surely be on its way?).

Can’t decide upon a winter practice or a spring practice?

How about throwing in a little bit of both to pay homage to this Nor’easter and send him/her on a speedy exit?

For Spring: Try some seated and standing twists. Throw in a few heart openers— locust pose or upward-facing dog. Bridge these weird weather fronts with a few repetitions of bridge pose. Connect to the ground with surya namaskar and an extra long child’s pose.

For Winter: Get that blood moving, in quick vinyasa succession. Try some heat-raising breaths. Try uttanasana. Linger for extra long in downward dog. Throw in a few rounds of cat-cow and seated forward folds, like paschimottanasana, janu sirsasana or cobbler’s pose.  Lastly, spend a few well-deserved breaths in shoulder stand, viparita karani or headstand.

Warmer days are ahead. Until then, I’ll be that person sitting alongside my snow covered grill, waiting for the start of the cookout.


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Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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