Years ago, sitting cross-legged in a yoga class, my teacher spoke about the muck on the bottom of the pond. How the muck is home to the roots. How it gives birth to the lotus. I sat there, grounding my sacrum to the floor, strengthening my spine, feeling the opening at the crown of my head, and breathed in the lesson. In that moment, the relationship between the mud and the lotus was so clear. You’d think as a farmer I’d never forget it.
But I do forget it. Despite the compost we shovel on our field each year, despite the fact that my livelihood depends on manure, I forget the balance. I have to re-learn it each spring.
The month of March churned up the internal muck, and I caught myself there, in the opaque sludge of worry, in the heavy suction of resistance. It took weeks to remember that pushing down to find grounding is futile in the muck. It took weeks to remember how to trust in letting go. How to trust in the mud.
Eventually, movement returned. I don’t know if it was external validation or the wind bringing in warm air and clear skies, or the exhaustion of trying so hard that finally brought me to letting go, but I’m shifting into spring and feel the shoots starting to rise from the murky base.
Somewhere in all of it, I remembered sitting in that yoga class, remembered the space that filled my body as I breathed from the flower down to the roots, remembered that this cycle has spun through me before. And I’ve woken up into trust, into space, into abundance.
I’ve woken up.
No mud, no lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh said, and I remember that the pond, too, sleeps and must wake each spring. That the lotus, too, must bloom anew each year.