I woke up from a bone-chilling nightmare and got ready for a morning yoga class. Still shaking from the all too real dream, it was impossible to leave all of my thoughts outside the room, as our instructor had suggested. I carried that thing with me through warm-ups, sun salutations, warrior poses, triangles, and spinal twists until it was time for savasana. Savasana is that magical time at the end of a yoga class when you lay prone and let your muscles go slack. During these few minutes, some people focus on relaxing the various parts of their bodies, some meditate, some fall asleep, and some cry. Crying is unbelievably common, actually. At the start of savasana, our teacher tells us that if we have our own meditation practice, we should go there and tune her out. I always go to the same place.
We had friends in college who used to have a house on the Cape, and we spent a ton of time there in those years. There was a grassy yard, and a path down to a small stretch of beach and a bay. It was so beautiful there. Years ago, in savasana, it’s the place I chose to meet God in my mind’s eye and listen to what He had to say there. It always goes the same way. God takes my hand at the top of the grassy hill, and we walk together down the path toward the sand. We sit on a big rock there, and sometimes my Mom is there, too, waiting. A couple of days ago in class, she was there with her arms open wide for a much-needed hug. Today she was quiet, and wearing bright red and purple.
God and my Mom, they know my troubles; that is, if what I profess to believe is true. So during this time, I don’t need to explain. I just need to listen, but today they didn’t say a word. They just stood there, which was unfortunate, because the horrific nightmare I had experienced was still very much with me, and the events I saw unfold in it could plausibly happen in real life. I needed God and my Mom to reassure me that they would not, that all was well. Still, silence.
I decided to just get in the water and swim as far as I could while savasana finished up, though I didn’t get very far. God and my Mom just watched me go.
It feels that way to me, sometimes. It feels like I’m kind of alone and swimming this thing out as far as I can go, on my own power, without help. It takes all of my energy, and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. The word ‘savasana’ is translated as ‘corpse’, and that’s kind of what the bodies look like there on their mats at the end of a yoga class. It’s usually such a life-giving time for me. Today, it felt like death.
God takes on many roles as we walk through this life. He’s a teacher, a comforter, a provider. He’s our brother, our father and mother, our friend. He heals and forgives. I’ve seen Him be and do all of this and more. These days, I need Him like the Israelites needed Him in Exodus, to rescue and restore. Some days it feels like I’m out there treading water, just begging Him to hold it back so we can walk, finally, in peace. I don’t know why He won’t.