grandie j welcomes the summer rain
on a hot day in detroit
‘like a welcome summer rain,
humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”
– langstpn hughes
when driving with grandie f
he asked me
what a ‘party line’ was.
he said it was mentioned
in an article he was reading
and it advised him to
‘ask a grandma or google’
if he needed an explanation.
I think that was a brilliant suggestion
that between the two sources
we have most everything covered.
“as I learned from growing up, you don’t mess with your grandmother.”
If you want to incorporate quality time with animals into your yoga practice, you have a lot of options these days. There’s puppy yoga, cat yoga, and perhaps the most famous — goat yoga. Now, in Fairbanks, Alaska, there’s a new offering: a yoga class with fauna particular to the cold northern climes of the subarctic. Reindeer.
In a grassy pen at the Running Reindeer Ranch, adult and baby reindeer are milling around — grazing, nosing curiously at water bottles, and pawing yoga mats as people shake them out for class.The air is buzzing with mosquitoes, and the sky is threatening rain, but a good two dozen or so people have shown up for this petting zoo and exercise experience.
The reindeer yoga class is a brand new offering for the ranch — it’s only the third class. They usually give natural history walking tours with the animals. Jane Atkinson, one of the owners, does yoga herself. She thinks that reindeer are particularly well-suited to it. They’re twisty creatures — especially in the springtime when their antlers are growing and itchy, and they scratch them with their back hooves.
“So you’ll see the reindeer getting into these amazing poses,” she says, “and it’s like wow … look at this little yoga move that they do!”
One of Atkinson’s employees at the ranch, Elsa Janney, happens to also be a yoga instructor.She starts the class with a safety talk — things like, don’t touch the reindeer’s sensitive antlers because it could hurt them.
From there, much of the class follows a typical yoga class script. But there is some extra stuff mixed in, like what Janney says after she asks the class to pay attention to the sounds around them.
“Reindeer make a click when they walk,” she says. “That is a ligament connected to two different ankle bones. That is unique to both caribou and reindeer.” At the start of class, most of the reindeer are standing up or slowly wandering around the mats.
But as the class goes on, one by one they all lie down. Rocket, an elegant male reindeer, spreads out between the first and second rows and spends most of the class making a soft, breathy, grunting sound — like snoring.
The whole thing is pretty surreal. There’s a lot of giggling. Especially when one of the reindeer relieves itself on the grass.
And Diana Saverin says that trying to maintain focus was part of the workout.”As the rain came down, the mosquitoes buzzed, and the reindeer snored, it was like, can you stay with your breath?” she says, laughing. “It’s good hard work.”
“reindeer are not only for children;
they are for grandmothers fond of watching the moon.”
story/photo credits: ravenna koenig, npr.org, wemu radio
and a few of our closest friends
sharing a big night in the big house.
“when we establish human connections within the context of shared
experience we create community wherever we go.”
― gina greenlee
central casting must have had a hand
in a scene on our neighborhood street today.
while waiting at the corner for the light to change
a mail carrier in his blues came by riding a bike
a doctor in scrubs walked across the street on her way home from the hospital
a construction worker in a bright neon vest held the sign for ‘stop’ and ‘slow’
all crossing paths
all in uniform
I have to admit that I felt a bit left out and underdressed
in sandals and comfy clothes
although I suppose I was in a uniform too
that of a teacher on summer break.
“I always had a sense that clothes, be it uniform or vintage,
could help to create a character.”
book credits: naomi kleinberg, author – joseph mathieu, illustrator, google books, sesame street
today is the summer solstice which marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the shortest in the southern hemisphere. cultures around the world have marked the solstice throughout history as a moment of importance both for the changing of the seasons and for our relationship with the sacred.
this solar moment marks what is known as liminal space, or space between. the concept of liminality is more than just a space between two distinct times; it’s also a space in which rules are temporarily lifted, and roles are reversed.
if the concept of liminality seems new to you, think about all of the liminal spaces in your own life, birthdays are a great example as they’re a space between ages and you’re granted temporary permission to do exactly as you please. part of liminity is that it shows up to transform you, and then it ends. in the example of your birthday, you’re now a new age.
“the question is not what you look at, but what you see.
it is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon,
from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine,
to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance.”
― henry david thoreau
art credit: cy twombly, le jour ni l’heure: quatre sagioini: estate (the four seasons – summer)
credits: emily ridout, elephant journal, merriam-webster dictionary