I returned home this afternoon, shaking.
I rode my bike back from my yoga sanctuary, pumping through the well of emotions that had risen to the surface. I was spent. Depleted.
Someone unfamiliar enters yoga class after we started. I’m distracted. I see her next to me by the door. I brush aside my intuition to break out of the flow of my practice to invite her in and make room for her in our crowded class. I wonder: Is she in the right place? Does she belong? She picks up a mat from the pile in the corner, folds it in half and sits on it by the door.
She looks lonely. She’s not here to observe. Her hunger speaks to me. I listen just enough to shift my energy. I welcome her with my heart. I convey in my thoughts: Be with us. Feel the peacefulness we gather and share together. She gets up and spreads the mat out between the two women on my right. Message received. Welcome to our sanctuary.
After class the instructor welcomes her, and then one by one we come to her…Teresa, Jedn, Bonnie, Mary, Sue, Berth Ann, and me…we form a circle around our new sister. Quietly through her tears she shares her story. She was diagnosed with aggressive, triple negative breast cancer on Monday. The hospital has moved her through scores of diagnostic procedures in a matter of days. The doctors want to begin treatment right away. She is barely in her 30s. She has no children. Her family lives far away in another country. She’s scared. So many questions. So many decisions. And, she can’t focus or think straight. Thank goodness the social worker encouraged her to come here.
I hug her and my tears, springing from memory echos, blend with hers, filled with terrifying fear. The emotions of my own diagnosis come flooding through me. I offer my heart. I listen. I send out a silent intention that she know I am here for her.
Here at my desk, I cannot focus. I shift my work schedule. I have to write. The river is flowing again…poetry moves me – and I hope her – in the direction of healing.
Vicki L. Flaherty
These tears we cry are for you
They are our hearts flowing
Our waters rushing up to meet you
Here among the rocks and churning waters
The tears come from wells deep within
Rising to wash away your fear and worry
To rinse away your fuzzy and unclear thoughts
May you be washed in healing light
Let us bathe together as sisters
Soak in the love we have for you
We will bring you pillows to rest upon
And keep the waters warm for you
Feel the soothing essence around you
Rest and open to that soft place inside of you
Where peace wraps itself gently in your soul
And floats with you along the path ahead
© 2013, Vicki Flaherty