“Throw it higher than that tree!”

I knew it was impossible, but I’ve never been one to disappoint – even a little girl.

I arrived at the Mangrove Yoga Ashram during the heat of the afternoon. Once my tent was set up, I was ready to start my much needed weekend away.

I wasn’t the only one. The people here walked around with a presence of lightness. As if whatever load they were carrying had been lifted upon arrival. They were a mix of different types – city workers, backpackers, students, and families, including the one to which this little girl with the tennis ball belonged to.

The ball barely made it over halfway but she pleaded with me to try again. This time I wound up a big swing, but faked the throw.

‘Half-way’ also describes my relationship with religion. I’ve been close but always kept some distance. This applies to anyone who claims to have any kind of answers. I believed that anyone who had found “the way” had only lost their mind.

But I honestly felt that the people here were onto something – a testament to certain lifestyle choices – paying close attention to what goes into your body and goes on in your mind.

Could the answers be so simple that we’re over looking them?

I don’t know where yoga, meditation, time in nature, and garden grown food fits into a life consisting of housemate dramas, artificial lights, stress, longs hours spent sedentary, and processed foods. But I vouched to make some changes, starting with going vegetarian for a while. 

My self-made promises have a history of behaving like one night stands – being gone by morning.  Rather than thinking about how my life would be different, I remembered that in this moment, it was. I enjoyed falling asleep under a glowing spread of stars. The wind whispering in my ear, reminding me of similar nights spent camping on an island I once called home.

I woke to nature’s alarm clock – a melodic mix of different bird chirps. As the sun rose, the mountains crept out from curtains of dew. This is God, I thought. This world is already so beautiful, why decorate it with superstition.

“Where did it go?” she asked, scanning the open field we stood on.

“Into the clouds,” I replied with a smirk.

People believe in a lot of things up there. Often with as much enthusiasm as I had while taking my first throw. Personally, I don’t know.  I don’t know what to believe. I don’t know if there’s more to this. And whether if, in all the ways that this world is broken, the pieces still fit in some perfect picture somewhere. 

“Woooow”, she gasped with eyes wide.

But hey, the thought’s still nice.



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