Namaskaram Beautiful Friends,
The little island of Captiva, just off the gulf coast of Florida, holds just a bit of dolphin magic. It is a place of endless white sand and smoothly washed shells, a spit of land so small that in some places one can see the glorious sunrise and sunset from the same spot. I was blessed to have a week there with my family where the dolphins dove just yards from where we swam each sunset, their waves of playful energy and delight contagious for sure.
I simply adore these majestic beings, and sharing my week with the dolphins showed me what could be possible for all of us. They travel together in schools or pods, working in unity and cooperation throughout their lives. Their large community structure allows them to protect their young and old, and to care for one another during times of illness, even helping the sick to breathe by pushing them to the surface if they’re unable to swim unassisted. They help other species as well, including humans, large groups swimming around boats or swimmers to protect them when sharks are near. This week I was told that in February, an awe inspiring super-pod party of 100,000 dolphins were seen swimming together off the coast of California! They are tantric creatures no doubt, seeming to revel in each moment, and OH do they know how to play!
Watching these caring, loyal, fantastic beings this past week of course brought to mind our own Durga tribe. I have watched with heartfelt admiration and absolute joy as our Durga community has united in such remarkable ways this year. New friendships have blossomed, arms have held each other, shoulders have been leaned upon, food shared, glasses raised in love and friendship, lives celebrated. You have been present to both support and share in each other’s gifts. Indeed, you have massaged us, aromatherapy-ed, reiki-ed, cranial sacral-ed and flower essence-ed us. We learned how to awaken our inner Shiva as we experienced the Danda, and we let Shakti fly free as we opened our hips and hearts alongside each other. We’ve been wooed by your guitar, soothed by your mantra, grooved to your drums, shaken our bones to your Grateful Dead songs, healed with your singing bowls, and transcended with your ambient electronics. We’ve pilgrimaged together to visit the Goddess abroad and danced our hearts out as we celebrated Be-ing together. We’ve welcomed friends from all over New England and beyond, expanding our family to include even more exceptional souls, and lit the Solstice fire of transformation together. Friends have come forward to paint, to photograph, to decorate, to design, to build, to write for us. It’s been an unforgettable year, and there is no question I am incredibly blessed to be sharing the path with each of you.
I am looking forward to more yoga fun in the month ahead as we take our practice outdoors ~ pondside, under the apple blossoms, trying our hand at balancing on the slackline on Little Common, IN the pond, and more. Make sure you check the website before each class for updates on where we’ll be and what’s in store! Please note there will be no class tomorrow, Monday April 22; heartfelt apologies, but I will be out of town for a family funeral. Tuesday night, please welcome our own Karl Webster who will be filling in for me at 7:15pm; Karl’s open heart, wisdom and life experiences are a true gift to our community! Many thanks to Karl, and to our other beautiful friends who joined in the fun teaching classes this year: Hilary Finnegan, Alison Flanagan, Diane Borton, and Sarah Pyne; and to our fabulous teacher friends John Calabria, Lisa Binder, Sammy Goodrich (and Hilary again!) who are always there to sub when needed…you all ROCK!
Our long Summer Svasana begins June 3. And although in some ways it is a time of rest and renewal, opportunities for adventure and growth beckon. Make sure you find time to play, do something you’ve never done before, revel in the sun kissing your skin, let the wind tangle your hair. Be a bride married to amazement, or a bridegroom and take the world into your arms. Despite ~ or maybe because ~ life is full of truly rough seas at times, make the very most of each shining moment, and know that like our dolphin friends, wherever you go or whatever you do, you are part of a larger family who holds you. Our dearest poet Mary Oliver insists that we enjoy this one wild and precious life… indeed you don’t want to leave this world simply having visited it.
Happy sunny joyful living growing blooming playing laughing loving shining Spring and Summer!
Love you all so much!
Kiss the Earth,
The Durga Studio
One Hundred White-sided Dolphins on a Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
galloping in the pitch
of the waves, in the pearly
fields of the sea,
they leap toward us,
they rise, sparkling, and vanish, and rise sparkling,
they breathe little clouds of mist, they lift perpetual smiles,
they slap their tails on the waves, grandmothers and grandfathers
enjoying the old jokes,
they circle around us,
they swim with us-
a hundred white-sided dolphins
on a summer day,
each one, as God himself
could not appear more acceptable
a hundred times,
in a body blue and black threading through
the sea foam,
and lifting himself up from the opened
tents of the waves on his fishtail,
with the moon of his eye
into my heart,
and find there
pure, sudden, steep, sharp, painful
I don’t know-either
or the pale, bearable hand
on my neck,
from the boat’s plain plank seat
into the world’s
It is my sixty-third summer on earth
and, for a moment, I have almost vanished
into the body of the dolphin,
into the moon-eye of God,
into the white fan that lies at the bottom of the sea
that ever was, or ever will be,
supple, wild, rising on flank or fishtail-
singing or whistling or breathing damply through blowhole
at top of head. Then, in our little boat, the dolphins suddenly gone,
we sailed on through the brisk, cheerful day.