As Hurricane Irma made its first advances into Georgia, I took advantage of a day off school to take in a morning yoga class. The energy in the class was one of nervousness. We all – locals and Florida refugees alike – were stuck in waiting mode, wondering what was to come.
The instructor started off class telling a story about how his children had their hearts set on a kitten. And he had his heart set on maintaining a clean and orderly home. Yet, since his love for his children was greater than his love for order and cleanliness, he agreed to adopting a kitten.
At the Humane Society, the kids fell in love with one cat. And then with a second. The clean and kitten-less home was about to be invaded by the impishness and unpredictability of two young felines.
The instructor shared that his only option was to surrender, to release control over every aspect of the household and to trust in the outcome. He continued to make that the intention for the entire class with reminders for us to trust as we leaned back into balance poses and suggestions to give up the hold, and release into our hips as we folded forward.
I kept that message in mind as the winds picked up and the seven-story trees around the house began to arc to the ground, as though they themselves were attempting to practice yoga. One branch finally surrendered to the force, slamming down onto our fence.
We were lucky; that was our only damage.
Others were not so lucky. Trees are down all over the metro area and power has become the most coveted resource in town.
Natural disasters have a way of reminding us about the limitations of our control. We’re so used to shaping nature to meet our needs – we move rivers, blast through mountains and think nothing of growing gabs in the desert. We are lulled into thinking we are the architects of our domain.
Until we are reminded otherwise.
We’re good at fighting. Excellent at controlling. Experienced at directing.
But often what the situation calls for is something else entirely –
The letting go, the faith, of surrender.