Fatigue is familiar to me these days. Often, my sleep is not restful. When the alarm goes off in the morning, I pace through the snooze alarm cycle and sleep too long. I wake up even more exhausted, and disappointed about the wasted time. I used to be one of those annoying morning people, up at sunrise with my internal alarm, ready to go on a morning run and do farm chores.
Today, the sun awakens me. I lie on my comfy wool bedding a few minutes, and slowly slide one weighty foot off the bed, then the other. Dangling on the edge, I consider my options. I could take a vicodin and have some coffee to wake me up. That would do the trick. Or, I could do my morning round of tai chi, and make some green tea. Both would start my engine.
Still half asleep, I shuffle into the living room, pull up the shades and chains of sunlight glisten on the frosted pasture. The neighbor's horses graze rhythmically. The suet bricks are breakfast for the red-bellied and downy woodpeckers.
I start the water for tea and turn on my favorite Japanese instrumental music. My legs ache and my fingers are cool and cramped. The opening stance of the tai chi form is called the horse stance. It grounds me and connects me to the earth. I face the window. I see the horses. I inhale. I focus on my tan t'ien, the Chinese word for center- the life force. I breathe with my heart. I am still. I honor gravity. Cowboy, my border collie ambles over to me and settles close. He sighs and collects my quiet energy.
As I breathe and start the tai chi form, my mind is present, but random thoughts start to enter. "What do I need to get done today?" I let the thought float away. Another thought sneaks in. Just passing through. I feel the chi in and around my body; my arms float, gently propelled by my tan t'ien. My muscles are receiving nourishment and they relax. The blood vessels in my fingers dilate and become warm. My breath continues to nourish me and I gently awaken.
☀ the fish need breakfast too.