I’ve been thinking a lot of standing recently. This is what yoga can do to you, you stand – in front of the microwave, at the bus stop, in the shower – and think about your feet on the ground, the ground below your feet. The act of standing becomes a marvelous wonder of bones and gravity.
Last weekend we went hiking. Though the snow had melted or been pushed aside from the sidewalks in our neighborhood, the trail was still covered in a crackling glaze of partially melted and re-frozen slush. With each step there was a microsecond of suspension before my foot slipped down. I found myself caught in that microsecond. I felt that fleeting moment last an age as I balanced on crispy snow before floating down to the ground.
When I was young (exactly how young I don’t remember) a couple of friends and I, inspired by Peter Pan, decided we would practice flying. We took turns jumping off the back of the couch. Over and over. Waiting to fly. I have a memory from this activity: I remember flying. I remember being suspended just as clearly as I remember thinking I could not, in fact, flying.
In the grander scheme of things, I didn’t fly for long. I didn’t stand for very long on top of the snow. But who’s to say which moment really mattered, the moment when I balanced perfectly on top of the crackling snow or the moment right after when I sank. So as I continue to think about standing I do not think of it as an end point. I think of standing as dynamic. We are always in motion, in constant renegotiation with the ground beneath us. It’s a little dizzying but also somehow pleasant to think that each moment is so alive and important.