Happy Birthday – The Year That Was

This is a day when we would like to take a minute and thank you for a year of creation and procreation like no other. Not that it has been the most creative; indeed there were other years like it. Not that this could have been procreative if others before it had not. Yet this year was different, the challenges were great and the souls were preoccupied, perhaps even weak, and the flesh was not willing or not ready for toil. We started the year not ready to bring forth the things to come. We needed preparation and this was a year when you felt the time was right to make us see within ourselves and bring out the strength we did not know we possessed, so you signed us up for Yoga – actually it was Suma’s idea – but one has to bend the truth to make a story.

We learned to find our sit-bones – which regular people call the ass – and consciously sit uncomfortably on them, using paper thin mats instead of chairs. We learned to breathe into our left lung, which is what everyone does – but scant few can breathe into one lung only. We also learned how to breathe into our right lung. We could raise energies from the floor using our hands. We could bend from the waist with a straight back groping for our toes, our hamstrings and calf muscles screaming for relief, becoming stronger thinking that we were getting all this pain for only thirty five dollars a month. We became aware of our bodies. We could lift our legs off our feet, our hips off our legs, our necks out of our shoulders. We could grow five inches taller. We found great restoration in child’s pose, having learned the secret of making an ‘L’ with our thumb and forefinger as we pressed our hands forward on the mat. We felt the stretch come to our lower back and transitioned to down-dog where we waited for minutes for the instructor to regain her memory. We raised one leg, and put it down. We raised the other and put it down – everything that comes up in Yoga must come down. We brought a knee to an elbow and then to the opposite elbow and back, and forward in ‘pidgom’ pose, which I still cannot do correctly but my tree pose has improved. I can do a Vinyasah which I could not do at first. I can hold a chair pose for a few seconds more. I am still a humiliation to Yoga; likely to remain so for a long time to come, but I believe that if I continue to try I might improve. The evidence to the contrary is everywhere. I cannot do a Crow pose, I cannot stand on my head, however I no longer rupture a disk when I grab my hands behind a knee and my back and lean ‘fowad’. While there is a video on YouTube showing a ninety three year old lady floating a lotus, I can’t and I am just about half her age. I like to think that she succeeded the day the film was taken, after trying for seventy six years. For every embarrassment there is a glimmer of hope. I push away the thoughts that she might have been doing it successfully for seventy six years. I follow your example and focus on positive thoughts. I cannot carry a tune during ‘Ohm’ so I sit in the back, fighting silently with Chinese ladies over territory under the air vent. Holding my own against a nation one hundred timed bigger than us builds fortitude. I can maintain a straight back while sitting cross legged – at least as cross legged as I can. I am about forty five degrees away from perfection which means that if my arteries were like my hips blood would not flow through my body. I am the worst in the family at sitting cross legged, you can put your knees on the floor; mine are closer to my ears, and my ears do not droop. You watched all this, saw the progress through the flaws, and you believed that I was ready, that we were all ready, and one day you took us out to the deck, spread our Yoga mats and led us in prayer.

With our abilities to look into our metaphysical inner-self, we exhumed the physical energies needed to bring Dafna over to build the long awaited roof over the deck. Now we had a place of worship and our wishes could be heard further. It was not until Amatzia called that we knew what we wished for the barren wasteland which was the left side of our back yard to become a thing of value and beauty. Amatzia asked for only two movers and in return offered a hot tub, a gazebo and threw in a treadmill as a sign of good will (riddance). And the movers came and helped disassemble the gazebo and load it on the truck, and then put the hot tub in front of it, a packing order which would put us through great tests of will and staying power. And the movers drove to our house and unloaded the hot tub and put it close to the vegetable patch. And the movers unloaded the gazebo and assembled it in front of the hot tub, exactly where it was not meant to be. And Dave came and planted a slab of concrete where no plant had succeeded in before. And Dave laid conduits for electricity to drive the motor of the hot tub. And Dave promised that Paul would come to pull wires from the breaker box, under the concrete path, under the remaining patch of lawn to the control panel of the hot tub, and that John would mend the sprinkler system once the concrete was dry and the scaffolding was removed. And all this was good, but hot tubs cannot jump over gazebos. Dave colored the concrete to look like clay and carved a grid to make it appear as if the slab was tiled, which was good but gazebos cannot jump and neither can hot tubs. The children of Israel would have to work hard to enjoy the promised tub.

So like Moses before you, you shed off despair and summoned the community of guests who happened to be around to lift the gazebo and hold it up (what are friends for), while Dave and his party rolled the hot tub to the slab using the same technique that the Egyptians used when they asked the children of Israel to build a few pyramids for them. Saint Paul pulled the wires and hooked up the power, and Osmo’s and Tinitin’s basketball team lifted the gazebo and brought it to its final resting place over the hot tub. We filled the hot tub, thinking that finally we were pouring water over the slab for a good reason. Still it was not to be for there was no light in the shrine, and we would wallow in the dark, for in our haste Saint Paul connected a cable which could carry enough juice to burn down the house, but not a cord that could power a light bulb. Yet you had shown us the promise of the land. We have been through enough; sowing concrete instead of grass, moving gazebos in the wake of hot tubs, this we believed we would solve – and solve it we did, with a little solar panel which sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t, but every now and then there is light in the gazebo even at night.

And the barren land which would bear no fruits or vegetables or grass or weeds, gave birth to a beautiful slab of concrete, and hot tub and gazebo and solar panel and hot water, and Saint John mended the water pipes and put in sprinklers so the remaining lawn would grow under the clovers, and the fig tree blossomed with CDs, and the vegetable garden bore kale and tomatoes and more kale. You bought a juicer powerful enough to blend concrete, to squeeze juice from kale, and celery, and asparagus, and tomatoes, and carrots, and beats, and apples, and strawberries, so we get all our vitamins and antioxidants and essential dosage of sodium, sugars, fiber, protein, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantheistic acid, calcium, iron, potassium and even zinc which – according to urban legend – makes you taller, but who gives a shit, as long as the hot tub is chemically balanced and the next generation can wallow and procreate.

There are no words to thank you enough. We love you dearly. Happy Birthday.

  • Terribly wrong order of Jacuzzi and Gazebo