Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Meditative Walk


My Yogi spreads the love in gyms and retirement communities and community colleges all over town.  She Zumbas and cycles on stationary bikes and brings her sense of awe and joy and wonder to them all.  Her fans are people of all ages and backgrounds, bound together by one thing - we all think that she is wonderful.

She's always asked to donate her time or her hand crafted jewelry or her expertise.  She's learned how to say no with grace and dignity.  She's adopted one charity here in Tucson, and she's sticking to it.  Rather than dilute her efforts, she's put it all into one place, a group started by another yogi, her dear friend Sherri Romanoski.

Bag It! supports newly diagnosed cancer patients by providing information and a notebook and a bag to carry it all around.  Rather than leaving the physician's office with only despair and anguish and a thousand questions, Bag It! fights the fear by providing timely, sensitive, thorough facts and resources and connections. As their website describes it: A specially-designed binder provides:
  • Cross-reference guide to BAG IT publications and cancer topics/issues
  • Helpful tips for getting through treatment and beyond on each tabbed section
  • Personal information, medical history, and medication forms
  • Calendar to keep track of appointments, side effects, and/or questions
  • Place to keep copies of all labs, reports, referrals, and diagnostic testing
  • Paper to log in your questions and comments for office visits for later reference
  • Summary and follow-up care plan form
  • BAG IT evaluation
  • Instruction card for creating your own website
While I might not be ready to create my own website in the aftermath of a diagnosis, the thoughtfulness of providing "paper to log in (my) questions and comments for office visits for later reference" makes my heart swell every time I read it.  No one remembers what the doctor says.  No one pays close attention when their heads are exploding.  No one recalls that important issue flying through dreams at 3 in the morning.  Bag It! understood that and took steps to remedy the situation.  That's my kind of organization.

Once a year they put on an extravaganza at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort.  This year, I left TBG at home with his football games.  I took Miss Vicki as my guest.  She and I have been exploring meditation as an addition to our lives; I thought she would enjoy My Yogi's morning walk through the resort's flora and fauna.  I was right.

My Yogi held a heart shaped leaf, a leaf which was lying in the pathway, waiting for her, knowing somehow that its shape was one holding a deep meaning for her.  She finds hearts everywhere.  She shares her own easily.  It's a perfect match.
She pointed out the cactus wren's nest amidst the inhospitable cholla .  Can you see the nest, right in the middle of the photograph?  It's a home amidst prickers and glochids and spikes and general unpleasantness.... yet it is home.
She saw a mother bird with a bit of food in her mouth entering the opening and disappearing within.  She drew the connection between the nest, a place of comfort and nourishment, surrounded by a hostile environment, and the journey taken by those with a diagnosis of cancer.  The outside world may be full of discomfort and inconvenience, but it can be mitigated by creating a warm and nurturing place in which to retreat, to regroup, to gather strength and energy before facing the harsh realities beyond. 

I looked up at the blue sky, at the waterfall above, and I soaked it all in. 
 I was out, with friends, exploring the natural world.
I'd walked a 5K and I was moving again the next day.
I looked into the pool at my feet, . 
 the end of the journey for the droplets which had begun above my head, and I let the connection wash over me.
The reflections drew me in, deeper and deeper.
I banished the murmuring voices nearby, breathing deeply, in and out, finding peace and ease and comfort. 
Like the gnarly, intricate, aged tree trunk we passed on our way in, my life is twisting back on itself, revisiting pieces which made me smile, getting caught on those which tripped me up, and always, at the edges, the hand of a friend.
Bag It! gets that.
 I do too.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Someday, perhaps, w can walk it together.

  2. I would like that. I am so out of shape right now that it'll take some doing before I get to where I am not out of breath after a few feet... well, maybe a bit more ;)

    1. Rain... Rain... Rain... remember with whom you'll be walking! And, on this path, there is a reason to stop and look and feel every few feet, so even if we are slow, no one will notice!


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