Yesterday, June 20th, was officially the Summer Solstice for 2012. Typically, the Summer Solstice, the one day when the sun reaches her highest point in the sky and shows her beautiful self for longer than any other day of the year, occurs on June 21st, but I guess 2012 is just different.
I woke up slowly quite early in the morning today, to involuntary yoga. It was about 4:30 a.m., and the morning light was starting to show through my bedroom window. There was a bit of a chill from the open window, but I was warm, snuggled under the covers, firmly pressed back to back with my husband, the human furnace. Every once in a while, I would poke an arm or leg out from under the blanket and allow the cool air to soak in, until I felt the chill enough to retreat to the comfort of my heated sanctuary.
I yawned. Not a typical yawn, but one that was obviously trying to capture as much oxygen as possible; the kind of yawn that requires a series of long gasps, closes your ears, and makes you worry that your jaw will pop. Initially, quite unsatisfying. It was followed by another of the same type. This time I moved my body a little in order to make room for the head stretch that was necessary to allow the yawn to run its course; and I heard, more than felt, my jaw pop. More than satisfying; it was a good feeling to feel my lungs expand; I’ve been plagued with a “reactive airway” and cough for weeks, which has required the occasional use of an inhaler.
One yawn was followed quickly by another, and I spent a few minutes indulging my body’s need for oxygen. At the same time, I wondered if all the yawning could lead to hyperventilating; would it go on all day? Could it become a problem? As I was considering the need to change my schedule for the day, the yawning subsided, but was replaced by a round of lung clearing coughs. These were different from the coughing caused by my reactive airway. These coughs felt as though they came from the dark recesses of my lungs, as though someone were sweeping the dust out of them and allowing more room for the good air. Good coughs.
The coughs settled, and I thought I would drift back to sleep. But apparently I wasn’t finished yet. My arm decided it needed to stretch, so I moved it. I made a great arc from my hip, to an invisible point well above my head, back down and around to my back as far as the muscles and joints would take me. I arched my back to get more out of the stretch, and I could feel and hear my spine, shoulder, and wrist bones crack. After I folded my arm back under the covers, my neck decided it needed to stretch, then my hip, down to my ankle.
“You need to stop moving,” my husband’s deep morning voice whispered in my ear. My movements had woken him up. I apologized, but didn’t stop moving. For a while there, I would have sworn that upon rising, I would measure the 5’7″ that I was originally supposed to be. Not likely.
The oxygen from all the yawning and stretching finally made it to my brain. I opened my eyes, clearheaded, and gazed around the bright room, illuminated by the rising sun. I felt better than I have in a long time.
This is the third day after the loss of my job. I’ve been unhappy for too long. Time for a change, some healing, and perhaps a rebirth of sorts. I feel a bit like a newborn deer, stretching and untangling my limbs, but ready now to meet the world and see what it has in store for me.
Ooh — one more really… good… stretch. Ahhhhh, yes!