Even before I was officially pronounced a human being with a spinal S curve, I was attracted to the asymmetrical – contrasting patterns, uneven hem lines, opposing ideas, cottage gardening etc. In my approach to life, 2 plus 2 does not necessarily bring 4. This is not to be contrary. It’s just establishing the safe opening for what might yet be known. Besides chaotic harmony appeals to my sense of order.
As my story unfolded, life began to teach me that core strength was valuable, not only in pursuit of the fountain of youth, but as a requirement in the book of life (if you favor standing). No matter one’s age, the trophy is not a product of the iron pumped or the streets pounded. Astoundingly, it is the flexibility that a powerful core affords.
This is the reason that Pilates, Feldenkrais Method, Yoga and breath work have awarded conscious folk with habits as valuable as brushing teeth. In my value system, strengthening the midsection is a matter of not folding over.
Out in the semi-ruralness of my homeland, continuing physical education for well being has been a challenge. Though we are now all beginning to understand one size workout does not benefit all bodies, intelligently personalized instruction still seems to be rare no matter where you hang your hat.
Fortunately a gifted trainer/dance instructor with movement sensitivity landed for a while nearby. Her intuitive ability to develop a choreography of movement with my back in mind woke sleeping muscles and returned me to myself. movementlabtn.com
And though her teachings were essential, her suggestion that at the minimum I lay down on the ground and allow gravity to take over for a while each day turned out to be something of a rebirth.
When homebound March 2020 placed the out of doors on stage, I took my daily spinal constitution to nature and stretched out in the (back)yard. I prefer the front yard canopy, but my neighbor once belittled me for leaving the house with wet hair. I have no time to incite his lack of imagination.
To use the overused word of the day, the recline was “amazing”. It came to me that earth is a mother, and she has healing powers. While promoting the ritual as I’m prone to do, a friend suggested that my new habit was an ancient practice!
It’s called “earthing” and in touching the ground this way, we receive a charge of energy by way of electrons, remember those? Surely you do, unless you’ve misplaced the need for science which is a talking point in vogue today.
Amid the regularity of this simple, free activity, I’ve also discovered the nutritional value of color therapy and green has opened my heart and given me courage. On a recent tour alongside grandchildren through the asymmetrical Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville, we were wowed by beds of soft fluffy moss laying about from pillar to post and calling out with bed-like fervor to lie down in green pastures.
Since then I’ve committed to tracking moss for an impromptu lounge. Reported to have been around since the Permian Period (298 million years ago), it is safe to say that as a cot, moss can provide the nature-nurture that only a loving Mother Earth could make up.