Balancing Your Summer Expectations

firelog

Summer, which technically does not begin until June 21, always seems so jam-packed with expectations, doesn’t it? Perhaps it is a culturally-shared memory for all of us when we were younger and Summer was the equivalent of freedom from school schedules to fulfill our playful wishes.

In addition to play, Summer also bursts with projects and travel. Personally, I have set a hilarious mix of creative development projects and Off the Grid goals for my Summer. I will be fortunate to achieve even one quarter of what I have planned. As a teacher, I honor that invigorating inspiration of the season but also need to ensure my students receive calm and cool messages as well.  An Ayurvedic tendency of the summer season for all of us is to burn up, to inflame, to get overheated. We need to find a balanced approach to this hot season of activity.

This mission is what inspired our On the Mat Summer Intensive Restorative Pose series that began this week. Agnistambhasana or Firelog pose was my first pick for our Summer mat practice. When preparing the pose for my classes this week, I read the poem, Fire by Judy Brown. 

FIRE

What makes a fire burn

is space between the logs,

a breathing space.

Too much of a good thing,

too many logs

packed in too tight

can douse the flames

almost as surely

as a pail of water would.

 

So building fires

requires attention

to the spaces in between

as much as to the wood.

 

When we are able to build

open spaces

in the same way

we have learned

to pile on the logs,

then we can come to see how

it is fuel, and absence of the fuel

together, that make fire possible.

 

We only need to lay a log

lightly from time to time.

A fire

grows

simply because the space is there.

with openings

in which the flame

that knows just how it wants to burn

can find its way.

                                 – Judy Brown

Fire offers us metaphoric applications for work, teaching, performing, training, relationships, projects, etc.  What does this poem make you think about in achieving balance for your summer expectations?

– TaraMarie Perri

* Photo above is of  LOTUS, a sculpture by Seoul-based artist Jaehyo Lee, which is currently installed on the southeast corner of Union Square in NYC.  What a perfect sculpture to accompany Brown’s poem and thoughts on Summer balance.  Go see it if you are in town!

Comments
2 Responses to “Balancing Your Summer Expectations”
  1. Liz Beres says:

    This post so wonderfully reminds me that things are not necessarily as they seem, at the superficial level anyway. It reminds me that sometimes we must dig deeper to truly catch the essence of people, objects, and experiences. Thank you for prompting such thoughts, TaraMarie!

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