In the sunniest corner of the studio lives a hearty jade. It has always been there,as long as I can remember at least. It gives the impression of a timeworn desert visitor, thriving but perpetually red-brown and gnarly as it soaks in the hot sun on its upward trajectory toward an unknown destination. On occasion it sheds a piece of itself, one of which I recently took home to rescue at the suggestion of a plant-loving friend.
This daughter of the jade is thriving too, but bears little resemblance to its parent. In the cool corner of my kitchen it is stocky and dark, with its fat, succulent leaves exuding patience and ease. It is far less wild. Of the same stuff, yet so very different.
These plants are living example of the way all things are shaped by circumstance and environment. They also serve as a reminder to me to meet each unique variation of the human condition with compassion and respect for that which created it. Like the plants, we are so often handed our circumstances and left to grow into them to the best of our ability.
Unlike them, our human state affords us the ability to shape our environment in return. And shape we do, to such wondrous and disastrous effect. On some days I feel like a bedraggled weaver, handed a set of strings upon awakening with no choice as to their color or size. But while I may not be able to change them, I can weave them into a tapestry that is uniquely my own, a dynamic fabric of experience that reflects my choices as well as all that is beyond my control. In this process of creation, pain and poverty become just another pattern, joy an unexpected sweep of color, our entire lives a rich and varied work of art.
Each of us is presented with a choice each day, each moment. And this becomes our practice; Are we allowing the threads of our lives to hang limp and tangle in despair, or forcing them again and again into a pattern that no longer fits? Or are we deftly weaving all we have been dealt with attention and with joy?
~Kate Pousont Scarborough, RTY-500, Director Shelburne Falls Yoga~