My grandfather died shortly after I graduated from college. I did not have a full-time job, or part time for that matter, and I moved in with my grandmother for a few months. I like to think I did it to help her with her loss, but truth be told, we helped each other understand this thing called life.
Most days I drove her to visit with a friend or two. I would typically drop her off, run a few errands, and then pick her up in time for the nightly news, a VO and ginger ale highball and dinner. My grandfather would fix her a VO and ginger ale every evening to drink while watching the news as prescribed by her doctor. I have been looking for a like-minded doctor ever since!
Some afternoons we would go to the local nursing home to visit her friends that had moved into what I came to regard as a cruel and senseless holding facility for the infirmed and dying. On those days I would stay with her and push her friends that were in wheelchairs down the halls while they visited.
One of her best friends was a music teacher. However, now that she was in the nursing home, she had become what many would consider catatonic, motionless and non-communicative. We would always find her sitting in a wheel chair, staring at the floor and smelling of urine. My grandmother would carry on a one-sided conversation, reminiscing and bringing news of their mutual friends, while I pushed her wheel chair down the hall.
One afternoon was especially nice and when we reached the end of the hallway my grandmother suggested we continue outside instead of turning around. I was a warm summer afternoon, beautiful fluffy white clouds in a blue sky and birds flitting about in the trees that lined the sidewalk connecting the building to a second residence hall.
That is when the miracle happened. Right before our eyes this catatonic music teacher came alive. She raised her head, deeply breathed in the fresh air and smiled. She was now sitting upright in the chair and reveling in the beauty of the blue sky, birds and trees.
Without speaking a word, she raised her hands to the sky and began playing “air” piano as she swayed to the melody that only she could hear. My grandmother and I were astonished to say the least. We stood and watched as my grandmother’s best friend came alive inside a body that was failing her.
At the time, I could not understand the stark division between who we are as a living being of the Creator and our bodies. Now, in my sixth decade, I do. I look in the mirror and see a reflection that does not capture who I am. I look more like a well-worn car with 100,000 miles on it. Gone is that shiny new car, but many useful miles are still left on the frame.
However, the me still feels showroom new! Life doesn’t wear down the passenger, only the vehicle we ride in. The reality of this dual existence becomes more apparent as our bodies age. The you, the real you is as magnificent, beautiful and vibrant as the day you chose to come into this life.
We are eternal beings of Light. We are a part of the Creator just as the Creator is a part of us. The experience of a failing body is just that, an experience. It does not define us or harm us.
In time we will be back in the showroom picking out a new one!
Now we are doing yoga…
Blair is the co-owner of Yoga Daily in Mt. Pleasant, SC. [https://yogadailymountpleasant.com] He is a certified yoga instructor, recovering lawyer and a spiritual student. The content of this blog is what Blair considers to be universal truths that span all dogma and religion and it is offered to you in Love and Light. Check out Yoga Dude [https://yogadailymountpleasant.com/the-yoga-dude/] for additional blog entries. You can contact Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yoga is but one path to the knowing that we are all One. Please take what resonates with you and leave the rest without judgement or offense.