The other day, sitting on my mat doing a gentle seated twist (Marichi’s Pose), I noticed how the young frangipani tree on the side of our patio had blossomed, its narrow green leaves framing delicate pink-and-white flowers at its center.
The sight of the tree reminded me that after returning home from the hospital two months ago, I’d sit on the patio and gaze at the thin leafless brown stick that was the frangipani’s trunk and wonder if it would ever blossom or if I’d ever have the strength to practice yoga again.
Each day, as the spring air grew warmer, I’d sit watching as the frangipani’s trunk, barely two feet high, grew a fraction of an inch taller and its tiny buds began to push out leaves and then, one by one, the folded petals of flowers.
Now, weeks later, I’m able to practice gentle twists and easy stretches, and I gaze across the patio and watch the frangipani’s leaves caress the air while its thin trunk bends and sways in the breeze. Each day the blossoms at its center unfold, growing larger and more beautiful.
After watching the tree grow for weeks, I now believe there is a frangipani tree growing inside me.
I’ve learned to trust that it’s there, its buds full of hope, its blossoms full of faith.
Each day, hidden from view, a leaf or bud unfolds a little more.
As I practice on my mat, I can feel its leaves lifting my heart, its blossoms giving me strength.
And I can feel its tender stem, like the needle on a compass, pointing in the direction that I need to take, showing me a path that I can almost see.
After weeks of watching the frangipani tree change and grow, I believe that there is the seed of a frangipani tree growing inside each of us.
It starts as a tiny mote of hope and, day after day, it grows oh-so-slowly into a thin, fragile twig of faith.
Then one day its unfolding leaves and blossoms spring forth and serve as a reminder of the beauty hidden within each of us.
Journal Practice: Notice the beauty surrounding you as you practice your poses, and, once you step off your mat, notice the beauty that surrounds you as you go through your day. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is part of your life. Take a moment to contemplate the beauty that is growing within you. Write: 10 minutes.