The voice of my yoga instructor reverberated off the walls of the studio, as I lay in Shavasana. The sound was a calming force, and I let my limbs relax into a supine langour.
Time has always been a driving force in my life. I was the one who reached college half an hour early every morning. At weddings, I was in attendance before the couple made their entrance. At events, I invariably made sure I was in the first three rows.
Tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for other people? That was me, every day.
All of that punctuality and obsession took a seat on the farthest back burner, much to my horror, a little over seven years ago.
The reason was a tiny, talkative bundle of exuberance called Gy. With her arrival, everything changed. I was excited, thrilled, sleep -deprived, frantic with worry when she fell ill and grateful beyond words when she smiled.
And, oh, I lost my track record of being on time.
Now, it was always a mad rush out the door, when we left for a wedding. Followed by three trips back into the house, since I would have forgotten her diapers or her teether or a warm jacket.
I was the one walking into an event and seeing those foot-tapping people, waiting for me!
As she grew up, I consoled myself that things would improve. She was my daughter, right? She would value time. She would be punctual. She would be the first one to jump out of bed in the morning. It’s in the genes, I reasoned.
Sigh, you know where this is going.
Gy is the child who will stop and stare at a frog on the sidewalk, because it looked ‘tired’.
She delights in rushing to the front of the line at the bus stop, only to give up her place to go and stand with her close friend who arrives ten minutes later, right at the back of the line.
As we walked briskly to her dance class this evening, she stopped short, asked me to walk ahead and knelt by a bush. After a minute, I looked for her, while anxiously glancing at my watch.
She ran towards me, breathless and happy and asked me to open my hand. In it, she placed this.
Looking at the sheer beauty of the flower, I beamed and hugged her. My step slowed and I took her hand in mine.
The voice of the instructor was echoing in my head.
Learning to slow down and breathe is so important, not because it’s necessary, but because it’s relaxing.
Because it’s beautiful.
Because it’s worth doing.
Because the time is now and being in the present is the best thing possible.