A few years ago, when we arrived in Baja for our winter stay, I was slowly recovering from a pinched nerve in my neck. After several weeks of physical therapy and medication, I was still hurting, and, in addition, I had the remnants of a nasty sinus and respiratory infection, often snorting and blowing and coughing.
On our second day, I decided to attend an informal yoga class which met nearby in order to force my body to relax.
I joined in with the group, a little nervous as to my abilities, but determined to do what was good for me. Ten minutes into the class, the tickle in my throat took over; I coughed continually and could not make myself stop. Self-conscious, wary of disturbing the others, and disappointed, I stepped outside to try to quiet myself, to take control.
I was upset and embarrassed about interrupting the others by my exit, and I sat on a large rock to regain my composure.
And then–as I continued to focus on my negative feelings and on the tension in my neck–a hooded oriole landed in the bougainvillea next to me, brilliant orange amid brilliant fuchsia, turquoise water as background, and suddenly I was pulled into that moment, into awareness of the beauty around me. I heard in my head Emily Dickinson’s line: “Hope is the thing with feathers.”
The rustle of hope incarnate, the gorgeous detail of nature’s landscape, eased the tension in my body, and the tickle in my throat was gone.
What reminds you to be hopeful?
Have you been physically comforted by nature?