Autumn edge

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

― Albert Camus

A mild cloudless day with an edge of Autumn light necessitates lingering under my favourite tree (I tipped its pot and planted it with a single hand a long while back) with French Press and Kindle to keep me company.

This morning whilst still dark, I was doing some gentle stretches before settling into zazen. Only I pushed a little beyond gentle partly because I was in a restless hurry and partly for no reason at all.

One milisecond before I was finished, a sudden tearing wave of electric discofmort broke across my lower back.
The reason I stretch so carefully is that I have a recurrent lower back injury (too many years immersed in the physicality of nursing), and pushing the early morning yoga gave it the perfect opportunity to re-set some boundaries.

The enforced immobility does however have a silver lining, as I spend the day in slow gentle movements and attentive immersions.


I read a little.
I walk around the garden.
I listen to Morissette and Bach modulating on the breeze from down in the living room.
I examine the leaves and feel the grass (strangely lush for the end of summer) spring up all sharp and soft between my toes…
….and I try not to drop things that will require stooping to retrieve.

And just as I write these words I remember that I was supposed to hang out the washing that still sits damp and clumped in the machine.

It can be a fine line between being in the moment and being self absorbed.

Nevertheless, I think there will be just enough afternoon warmth to get the job done and Kelly will be none the wiser. If I hurry.
But I will try not to hurry too much.
Boundary set and lesson learned.

As the SEALS so rightly advise: Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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2 responses to “Autumn edge”

  1. Hi Ian sorry to hear you injured your back. Good excuse to get Kelly to massage you I reckon


  2. Damn Nurses Back !!!!….we should get freevtwreatment for life !!!!!!…I feel your pain… and take it easy Cannot worth pushing it and making it worse….


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