This morning I finally had a chance to level off. Leveling off for me usually means taking the time to dive into one of my physical practices. It’s always harder on these overseas travels. Over the last 20 years it has either been martial arts or yoga, or both. Lately it’s been both: martial arts in the mornings outside and yoga in the house or studio at night. Many of my mornings in the last 6 months have started in the park behind our two-flat. Some have started on a beach in Michigan. It’s always outside though, regardless of temperature. It needs to be outside. This morning it was outside in the shadows of the Chartres Cathedral with fog hanging in the air behind the branches of a budding tree. I’ve had many spiritual dojos before. This was at the top of the list.
As I did my forms in the park, white vans began to pull onto the grass and set up large umbrellas to stake out their territory that would become their marketspace for the day. I figured eventually, later in the day masses of people would begin to ascend the hill to the Cathedral and the vendors would be ready to hawk their goods. The energy told me the masses weren’t coming today. I suspect I am correct. Eventually a van pulled a little too close to me as if to warn me that I was in his intended space. I took the hint and finished up my kata and moved on.
I decided to ascend the hill to the Cathedral and see if the gate to the gardens was open. Perhaps there I would be able to find a nice space for my morning meditation. Predictably the gate was open and nobody else was there. I walked the gardens. I walked the labyrinth. Eventually I approached the place that will become Richard’s final home either later today or tomorrow depending on how the energy moves Rhonda.
I stood in the wet grass in front of a tall metal cross listening to the sound of the birds as the wind blew gently on my face. After a few minutes I leaned forward and placed both of my hands on the upright of the cross. It was ice cold to the touch and as hot as fire to my spirit. For a span of time that I will never know how long lasted, I stood with both hands on the cross and I quite literally leveled off.
I am calm now. I am at peace now. I am ready now.