A Little Love with a (Spoonbridge and) Cherry on Top

by Milissa on July 3, 2011

in Children,Nature,Seasons,Uncategorized,Yoga

Tuesday morning I was feelin’ the love with a small group of toddlers and their moms, doing Paschimo-tickle-toes on the grassy spot next to Walker Art Center. Just uphill from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s landmark Spoonbridge and Cherry, Walker Open Field is available during the summer for community gatherings and projects.

On the day the plein-air Tot Mama Yoga class met this past week (just a few days after Rock the Garden at the Walker), Open Field was, let’s just say, less than verdant. Nary a grassy patch was to be found on the multi-tiered expanse. The turf ranged from trodden mud pits to sunburned sod. And honestly, it seemed like there were as many cigarette butts as blades of grass. Luckily, I arrived early enough, and with an extra plastic bag handy, so that I could clear the cancer sticks off a patch of the field before the families arrived.

I was internally kvetching about the conditions, the low turnout (just two families at first, though more participants joined in over the next half hour), but I had to admit that the weather could not have been more perfect. It seemed like the first truly summery day with fresh, clear air and plenty of sun. Thank you Mother Earth! So, I decided, despite my gripes, to be pleased and delighted with the circumstances and my teaching.

It wasn’t hard to get into that state of mind, amongst kids from 18 months to 4 years-old puffing out their cheeks to blow—and then chase—bubbles around the field. “Bubbles come and bubbles go…,” I quipped, as tiny hands grabbed for the translucent spheres. A marvelous lesson in impermanence, for all of us—me included!

Though my mood had been peevish, before class started, soon I felt as light as the breeze that kept our bodies perfectly ventilated in the June sun. Another way that we experience impermanence, is in the transience of moods. Best not to get too attached, whether to glumness or glee, Buddha say.

My delight in the spiritedness of toddlers brought me to this passion for teaching yoga to families, but, I have to say, I have grown to love love love working with the moms that have come Tree of Life Yoga’s way. Talk about present, mindful, loving parenting—I get to see it in action every class. I learn so much from these mothers, not just about being with toddlers, but about being with the vulnerable parts of myself that I am not so loving with sometimes.

In this challenging time of life—with my husband ill, and me moving through another Right Livelihood transition—I have been asking, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” Surrender, again? Sigh, okay. Trust the Universe? Yeah, I’m trying. But what I think it really comes down to is this: I need to learn to practice what I preach and commit to wholly and unconditionally loving myself, no matter the circumstances. Like the happy, secure, well-adjusted toddlers that their wonderful moms bring to Tot Mama Yoga, I need to reclaim that place of not only accepting love, but expecting love. From the only one that can be there for me, always—myself.

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