Following knee replacement surgery five years ago, one of the rehabilitation exercises I did in order to learn to use my new knee was to trick it into bending further. I’d sit on top of Sarah’s desk (she was my at-home physiotherapist) and push my knee upwards first and then attempt to push it back. I’d gain a few more degrees of motion that way.

I’m thinking of that practice now, not for the trickery aspect so much, but more for the against-the-flow leading to the flow: the pause that leads to renewed energy.

In a book called Listening Below the Noise, the author, Anne LaClaire, describes struggling with the triangle pose in yoga. She writes: “Sometimes we have a period that looks like a setback, [her yogi told her] but in reality that time is a place of preparation. A resting space. A gathering of energy. Like an archer pulling back the bowstring so the arrow can shoot forward.”

In my own yoga practice, I find some rest, restoration and an honouring of the body. At this time, it seems an honouring of my work is also timely.

I had been looking at the writing circles and mentoring I have to offer and was planning an email to remind my list of what to think about as support for their writing practice. Now I’m taking a pause for several weeks of radiation treatments and I wonder what that rest will do for these various offerings. (Treatments are only about five minutes per day.)

Usually a rest offers some renewal so at some point in the future, I’ll offer the writing circles and programs with fresh insight. I realize I can appreciate them now without the marketing aspect just as we appreciate our daily writing that hasn’t been shared with anyone but ourselves. There are muses, guides and ancestors who are with us even though the words have not been gussied up and put on stage.

tomatoesAt this time of Lammas or Lughnasadh, the autumn quarter of the year, it’s good to stop and appreciate the harvest as well as the work done so far.  One of the practices for this quarter of the year according to Caitlin Matthews who wrote Celtic Devotional, is to “Assess your own life’s harvest: prepare fallow areas of your life for reseeding, clear old fields of overgrowth.”

On our property (or our landlord’s to be precise), we’ve been enjoying peaches from right here in the garden; cherry tomatoes; and now green grapes have been harvested.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a time to be grateful for the bounty and a time to pause and honour the poems, the books, the writing programs and circles shared so far. And it can be a gathering of energy time, a pulling back, a healing time.