This is the time of year in Florida when the air loses its heaviness and becomes lighter, drier, and the clouds float higher, and the sky turns a deeper shade of blue, more intense, cooler than the sweat-stained, pale blue of summer.
Lately I find myself noticing the smallest of changes—the caress of cooler air each morning when I go on my walk; the playful wave of palm fronds turning yellow at the tips and fading to gray; the subtle shift in the light’s color as each day the sun moves lower in the sky.
Flocks of birds are flying overhead in elegant, long V’s that unfurl like scarves across the sky, the birds calling to each other—“We’re back! We’re back!”—and soon snowbirds, Florida’s part-time residents, will return, too, clogging roads and beaches.
I notice the slight changes in my body—the way my head no longer throbs from surgery five months ago, and how the feeling of pins-and-needles, though still present, has subsided to a dull ache, no longer so intense a pressure behind my ear.
In the mirror I notice new wrinkles on my face, tiny lines etched beneath my eyes, signs of aging that I never saw before, and I can feel the dry patches of skin that have formed on the back of my legs.
I notice how I can twist a little further when I sit in Marichi’s Pose and bend a little lower, almost touching my toes, in Uttanasana, Standing Forward Bend. I notice, too, that I can turn my head toward the sky with less strain in Utthita Trikonasana, the Extended Triangle Pose, and that my hips feel more open than a few months ago.
These changes may seem slight but they are the stuff of life, the essence of our days, if only we take the time to notice them.
As daylight fades and the nights begin to cool, I am grateful for the ability to notice these small changes and to feel life’s fullness in them.
I’m grateful, too, for the ability to practice yoga—to touch my toes, to bend, to twist—and to keep a journal.
My practice invites me to stay alert, to notice these things, and to take pleasure in recording these small gifts in the pages of my journal.
From day to day, I never know what I’ll find there after I finish writing. Its pages are an ongoing reminder of the possibilities that life can offers us if we give it our full attention.
Practice Journal: What are some of the small changes that you notice at this time of year as the seasons flow like poses, one into another? Write: 15 minutes.