Today I wanted four legs to curl up underneath me, rest my head on the floor and sigh.
This act, this slow and delicate ballet, requiring a certain nimblenss of joints and spirit, a particular depth of soul and spaciousness of body, this would be the way of entering the day entirely as myself.
Yesterday, during a break in the rain, a tail-less fox that cases the neighborhood was in the backyard again. He had been on the back patio last week, finding a drowned mouse under a rock in the flower bed. We watched him eat it for a snack 10 feet away from where we sat on the couch, looking out the window. Yesterday he surveyed the freshly mowed patch of grass, then jumped straight up on to the narrow plank top of the neighbor’s fence. He scanned their yard and disappeared over the other side.
“Be like the fox,” Wendell Berry wrote. “Make more tracks than necessary/ some in the wrong direction.”
To have four legs would mean I could keep my belly close to the ground, the solid, stable place. I could keep my heart close, too.
Melt heart to earth the yoga instructor says each day. Melt. Heart. To earth. Such a simple phrase, but a layered picture of natural relenting — of letting go into a grounded, wide awake space of listening and seeing.
In the Genesis story of creation, God takes dirt from the ground to make the first human being. The Orthodox poet Scott Cairns envisions God not just breathing into that handful of earth with a loving kiss, but then covering God’s self with the mud, head to toe, caked on…and then wiggling out of the kissed clay, which then arises, alive: human in the image of God.
So melting heart to earth, tucking legs under and sighing into rest. To be home and myself without over-much struggle. To leap fences, unconcerned about trespassing, even though my tail has been torn off, to make tracks not for efficiency’s sake, but for curiosity. For discovery. To melt heart to earth and feel God’s kiss. Again and again.
Make more tracks than necessary
Some in the wrong direction.