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Sep 2015

Greetings yoga friends -

I was backpacking last weekend across Indian Heaven wilderness, and as I came out of the woods into this gorgeous view of Sawtooth Peak and Mount Adams in the distance, a poem sprang half-formed into my mouth.

I have been reflecting in my yoga practice about the habits - samskaras in Sanskrit - we form of our lives, and how much the process of aging seems to be caused by the deepening of these 'grooves'. Of our bodies into more repetitive and tighter movement, into the breath into a way of blocking the full inhale, and especially the mind into repeating the same thoughts.

A frustrating insight!

And yet this suddenly unfolding poem - to my surprise - led to an optimistic completion. 

There is an old part of me

Or rather -
Perhaps an original part of me?
Forgotten now mostly
Half buried by the busyness and sadness of life
Covered over by the dry leaves, the brittle branch-litter of the years

My father used to recite a poem from heart
Sharing it in moments when we were walking together through some patch of country,
Along a lane or past a line of tall elms
And his words, for both of us I think, were as some mood lifting
Like a shaft of sunlight through the trees

"The old lost road through the woods", he would start
I can hear his voice deep and sonorous
As the heavy wheel of a cart rolling over the earth.
"Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods."
And the vision would swell up of this half-hidden track of mystery and joy coming to us through the long-remembered lines from his own youth

What is my practice?
What is my faith?
Even in these later years, these times of trudging along the narrow corridors we sometimes make of our existence?
Maybe just that his voice could come again
The mood lift and the image rekindle

And discover as I walk along
that this old part of me
Is still young

Namaste - Eugene