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Year Three, Day 279: A Good Exhale

Today was a better day than yesterday. It was a day of comfort. I let go of all anxiety. I revisited the rituals that I have developed that are soothing to my soul. Very simple things. To keep me in the present moment.

I slept in. It was my day off of Baby Gracie duty.

I allowed myself the luxury of staying in bed, getting caught up on the news.

Of course there was more about the shooting; the victims, and the shooter. But I felt the need to know. It gives my prayers substance. As I declined in my pajamas, I took out my knitting. I had forgotten how calming knitting is.

I inhaled.

I exhaled. I can't remember the last time I had a good exhale.

I did a load of laundry. I made a few phone calls. I hooped.

Then I took myself out for lunch before an afternoon of teaching piano.

I got to work early. I noticed a difference in my students today. I noticed they all seemed more subdued. Perhaps even vulnerable. And more focused and interested in their lessons. Had they heard about the shooting?

I didn't ask. I just enjoyed the experience. Most of it.

But there were a few moments...

As I sat beside one of the boys - a boy who is normally hyper and a bit of a challenge to control- I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye, passing by the small window in the door to the piano lab. I instinctively tightened all my muscles. I looked around the room, imagining telling my students to get under there pianos. I sought out my backpack. It held my batlight. It could be used as weapon of defense if needed.

The moment passed. I did not hear the chimes that would alert us to an active shooter and require us to lock the doors and shelter in place.

All I heard was music. From my normally hyper student, who now was studiously working on the fingering to "Sailing in the Sun". I also heard the sound of a violin from the next room. And the thudding of my own heart.

My student finished his piece and looked up at me shyly.

"Was that right?" He asked.

"Much  better!" I smiled.

"May I go get a drink of water?" he asked. "I don't feel so well".

At which point the other kids said they were thirsty too.

"Let's all go get water!" I declared.

"And then let's come back and play the Animal Game!"

"Yay!" They all bellowed.

My students love the animal game.

And you know what? I do too!

I felt my heart slow down and swell with love for these little people. I inhaled. I exhaled. I smiled.

You know, I do sometimes complain about my life. But really I am quite blessed.

On that note, I wish you a happy Friday!

Talk to you tomorrow.



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 239!


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