I pull my car to a stop at a yellow light. It's early morning and the roads are empty. The moon hangs heavy in the sky. It's low and bright and smudged with craters; its face is cut by pine trees. I want to stay here. I want to see it, but my thoughts wander.
"You don't sound lost to me," a friend wrote last night. "You sound like you know what you want, but taking those first steps to get there is overwhelming so you're stalling a bit."
"I'm stalling! Yes!" I'd exclaimed, relieved to have someone name it.
I turn north when the light changes.
At the yoga studio, I take off my glasses. My eyes can't focus now, but I don't need to see. The room can stay soft and blurry. I know to lift my arms when the sun rises, and I can feel its flooding warmth. It's orange and yellow at the window, a smear across my shoulder. I tilt my face. Light bathes me as I greet it.
"Changes don't happen overnight." My mind turns back to the letter. "It's okay to stall and make yourself uncomfortable until further stalling feels less comfortable than taking steps. I can promise you, you won't stay here forever."
The teacher's voice interrupts my thoughts. "Come to the edge of pain," she says. Her words are soft. "But don't go past it. Just notice where you are. Notice, but don't judge it. Let yourself stay there. Breathe into the discomfort."
"You're sitting with the discomfort now," my friend had written. "There's something very zen about that. It's not wasted time. Transformations happen under the surface while you sit with the discomfort."
"Inhale and lengthen. Exhale and deepen. Breathe."
And now, I listen. I lengthen. I breathe.
Home again, the girls are awake and dressed and sitting at the table. They're eating blueberries and eggs. Chris has pancakes on the griddle. When I walk through the door, everyone looks up. Everyone smiles to greet me. I kiss them. Chris pulls me close before he leaves for work. "Have a good day," he whispers.
After he leaves, I take the girls to school. I can't hear what they're playing, but their giggles spill into the front seat so I laugh along with them. I feel strong today, I think. The thought settles in my mind, sudden and unexpected. I feel happy. Energetic.
And why shouldn't I? I ask myself.
After all, there's water on the road, sun in my rearview mirror, and all I have to do is breathe.