Human Being…not Doing


On the morning of April 1st, DW left me alongwayfromhome with my bike and a tent for the third time since we’ve been married.

On this occasion, i was abandoned with a level of luxury suitable for the highest brow.

My tent was a 12’x12′ palace. i had a little art studio set up inside looking out at a massive slab of sandstone that subtly changed color as the sun stretched from morning to night.

My campsite included a well-stocked Yeti cooler (even had 5 beers in it), a table and 2-burner stove, a rubbermaid full of camping frivolities (like several fabrics for tablecloths and decorating), a crate of dry goods, and a bag storing the aeropress and rich smelling coffee.

DW also left me with two huge knotty logs (let’s call them stumps) and an axe. He said “It’ll take some doing, but it outta last you till Ami gets here.”  he’s a real romantic.

They left on Saturday morning, and Ami was to arrive on Tuesday evening.

As my tribe was packing up and hugging good-byes, i was sad. although i look forward to spending a week alone each spring all year long, i knew i would miss them all terribly after spending a super terrific week together Spring Breaking in the desert.

i was all sorts of overwhelmed with the fierceness and capacity i am able to loveandbeloved at this point in timeandspace.

i had a solid 15+ year run at being impenetrable. solid as the rock squeezing Excaliber. i prided myself on it. i cried once in college. after three overtimes in a final-four rugby match against U Tenn. that got me. otherwise….nada. soared through my 20’s acutely aware that i would be victim to nothing or no one.

i thought it was a strength…and it did have its merits. there were certainly several situations and circumstances in which it paid off. i had no concept of how emotionally limiting that practice is. not until Critter was born, that is.

i remember rubbing my belly and hoping there would be a shift. hoping that some maternal somethingorother would pump itself through my system.

i had been hearing the message through yoga for several years, and i had been intentionally and deliberately practicing. STHIRA SUKAM ASANAM.

that equanimity is found BETWEEN strength and softness. when i surrender myself to the extreme limit of emotional comfort, i feel the rawness of vulnerability. i breath. and wrap myself in the ‘ol attitude of gratitude and find myself not growing, but deepening.

these past six years have brought me to greater depths and greater heights than i knew was available to me.

the desert never warmed up. i was camped in the same spot for 10 days. two days were sunny. one was warm.

i strolled million o miles. i climbed to the top of most things you could see from the campsite, and many that you couldn’t see. i had a bike ride on my newly swapped pedals. i chopped up two stumps. sat by many fires. read 1.5 books. drank delicious coffee while i wrote every morning. painted some afternoons. wrote some long overdue letters. held restorative poses in the tent for 30+ minutes. scurried in and out of slots and narrows and up and down sandstone slopes. i ate well and drank lots of water. i was in complete and absolute silence for four days.

every morning, i had to practice alloveragain letting go of the expectation that my time in the desert equates with heat and warmth.

i had hoped to de-winterize. i had hoped to rev up the agni and burn off the early spring kapha. i had hoped to remove the chill that dwelled in the center of my bones.

instead, i became acutely aware of what was. i practiced noticing. when the wind blew, and i clenched…i noticed what clenched, and then i could release it and remain open. i could not bear to allow the cold to decrease my vitality. i strolled through the sandy-bottomed washed with my hands clasped behind my back, my collar bone broad, and my heart opened and lifted.

i never wondered what i should do next.

i was a human being, not a human doing.

after four wet and windy days of scattered cold sunshine, Ami arrived. with a fresh load of produce, some Voodoo IPAs, and an extra ten degrees of warmth.

we cruised through our days at the pace of leisure and had a few desert-teaser hikes in the canyons. life at camp remained the same – only friendlier. more reading, more, writing, more fires, more yoga, and certainly more laughter.

when we woke up on Friday morning, and the sun stayed hidden behind the familiar clouds, we packed up camp. we headed to Steamboat.

and on Saturday around noon, after a morning of strolling and window shopping through Steamboat, we arrived at Strawberry Hot Springs.

it was the perfect end to two weeks on the road. i finally found the heat and warmth i was seeking.




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