I rose with the sun after a fitful night of sleep. My intention had been to make it to yoga at 7:30 if awake in ample time. I surely was. But the headache that had been a contributing factor to my fitful night led me to request a massage from Kev. And between that time and time to trek to bathroom and eat breakfast, I made it to the practice tent with just moments to spare. Lots of people headed to the same space had mats slung over their shoulders, and my mat is propped against a wall in Indiana. I wondered if I’d have to turn around without yoga. When I got there it first seemed that would be the case. But the teacher said, mere moments after I arrived, that there was one more mat available and onto that mat I slipped for a sublime hour of practice.
A few hours later I approached a story telling workshop where I found precisely one chair available. I claimed it. But Kev and C, whom i had expected to meet there, were nowhere to be seen and I anxiously set off to find them. When I returned my seat was full. I took a seat on the ground. But moments later its occupant turned around and indicated her intention had been to give me the chair back the moment I arrived. The woman sitting next to me had told her the seat was claimed. I thanked her and reclaimed the seat.
In the afternoon, I went to the red tent for women and girls story time. I took Caroline and her new friend Sophia. I stayed in this tent for 2 hours, the girls moved on with Sophia’s mom after an hour. The longer I stayed, the more meaningful the conversation grew. The most powerful moment came when I discovered that an older African American woman in the tent had spent several of her childhood years in my precise neighborhood in my hometown. Her family was the first black family in the neighborhood. I grew up in a fairly integrated neighborhood. Two other people in the tent also had connections to my hometown, but this connection was the most powerful. I saw her later and told her how much it meant to me to meet her. She concurred. She can’t wait to call her mom and tell her all the hell they went through in my hometown was worth it. She met a decent human being who gets it, from her very neighborhood! (I’m touched she so perceives me.)
I heard and learned many powerful things today, but these experiences of fitting… Connecting. They were what marked the day as holy for me.