182: Transitions

(A leaf, having just landed on the pond.)

… paying attention to your transitions can bring your focus back to the journey instead of the destination.  When we rush through transitions, we fool ourselves into thinking that once we arrive somewhere — whether it’s a pose, a classroom, or a life stage — we will pay attention and become present.  But this is a fallacy, because presence takes practice.  And really, each moment in life is equally important, regardless of what the ego may try to dictate.

~ Jason Crandell, from an article in the March 2011 edition of Yoga Journal

I read the article about transitions in the latest edition of Yoga Journal sometime last week.  I took the time to copy the quote into the notebook I keep for that purpose.  And then I forgot about it for a little while.

I did not enjoy my outdoor adventures this morning.  I went out early, thinking to get it over with (bad attitude!).  Remember the slow walking I mentioned yesterday?  It didn’t happen today.  Today I hustled and bustled in an attempt to keep warm.  We had a light dusting of snow overnight.  The temperature, which was 59 degrees when I went out yesterday, dropped to 28 degrees this morning.

Dry grass, new green grass, and snowflakes

I have been spoiled by the milder, warmer weather.  I like going out without having to put on 10 lbs. of layers with an additional 5 lbs. of boots.  It was nice to be able to just slip on a jacket and my gardening shoes, and go for a leisurely stroll.  I am ready for spring.  Ready, I say.

But winter isn’t finished yet.  March is a transition month.  Some days spring is in charge.  Other days, winter has its way.  In between, there are battles with cold fronts and warm fronts and air masses colliding and clashing.

View of the pond from the cattails this morning

Transitions.  I know I am not always good with them.  Even in my yoga practice I often find it difficult to move from one pose into the next without some klutziness.  I am starting to learn some of the little tricks that help.  Still, I don’t move as smoothly, as gently, or as effortlessly as I’ve seen some practitioners flow from one asana to to another.  I know I’m making comparisons here — and you’re not supposed to do that in yoga — but it’s true.  I find transitions awkward at first, until I learn to relax and go with the flow of the change.

A pair of mallards

Today’s cold snap feels harsh, brutal, not spring-like at all.  I can’t remember the last time my fingers and toes felt so painfully numb with the cold.  I put on all of the usual layers, including my mitten-gloves.  It makes me wonder:  Did I acclimate to the cold at some point during the winter?  I must have.  Even on below zero days I was taking my time, looking around, enjoying the beauty of winter.  Yet today it was difficult to stay out there.  The wind sliced right through me and all of my layers.  Brrrr! Outdoor adventure?  Forget about it.  I wanted to be indoors.

I stopped to take the occasional photo, something I wasn’t particularly in the mood for (because it was cold!), and to watch a pair of mallards gliding across the pond.  They acted as if the cold didn’t bother them in the least.  The other birds were fairly quiet today.  Even the red-winged blackbirds, who have been dominating the bird symphony lately, didn’t have much to say.  Perhaps they were all hunkered down, trying to stay warm.

Reflections of spring on a cold day

About an hour or so after coming back inside, the skies cleared and it now looks beautiful, sunny, and crystal clear out there.  I’m thinking about braving the cold again, just to see if the sun and blue sky make a difference in how I feel about the cold.

Return of the buzzards

Even with the cold, we’re still getting signs of spring.  The buzzards are back.  The common name for them is turkey vulture.  Here in northeast Ohio they call them buzzards, and their return is celebrated in Hinkley, Ohio.  We saw a large flock of buzzards while we were in Florida.  The photo above was taken this morning.  I played around with it quite a bit in Photoshop to get rid of the overexposure of this morning’s gray sky.  Then I decided I might as well go whole hog and add some tinting.

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  If I do decide to experiment with going back out into the cold, I’ll let you know how it all turns out.