Yesterday as I walked by this particular camellia bush I noticed this exquisite bud just ‘waiting to exhale.’ As I stared down at it intently…I half-expected to hear a “Whoosh” sound as its blossom unfurled in front of me. Instead I made a self-discovery…it was me who was holding her breath in anticipation.
Waiting to exhale….I started thinking about the number of times and diverse occasions throughout my life where I found myself consciously or unconsciously holding my breath…waiting to exhale. My memories are full of personal examples.
Childhood, youth, and adult competitions….from trying out for a role in the elementary talent show to waiting to hear if I made cheerleader to teacher of the year. (I didn’t make the talent show, did make cheerleader and on my second attempt…did make district teacher of the year. 🙂
But then came motherhood where upon reflection, we mothers hold our breaths a lot for our children’s competition…I held my breath each time the football was thrown to Walsh since he was a wide receiver in high school, I held it when Tommy was putting in high school division golf or when Mandy was running for (and elected) secretary of her senior class….the competitions were many and varied…some ending successfully, some not so much… but all part of growing up.
I recently read an article from a doctor who has discovered that inhaling deeply is still important but exhaling completely…getting all the carbon dioxide out of our systems prevents shallow breathing and lung distress. The article concludes:
“The optimal breath brings fresh new oxygen to fill your whole torso and spread throughout your body to enhance life force. Then you can be present and able to engage in your next activity with full body, mind, spirit… and breath!” (Source: Breath in Motion: Why Exhaling Matters Most – Betsy Polatin, Contributing writer)
Not dismissing the medical concerns of incomplete exhaling…don’t we also associate holding our breaths…with pure childlike excitement…like waiting to see what Santa brought us or an engagement proposal…our first-born child….those memorable scenes from our lives?
When Mandy was just a little thing…(a few months up through about two)…she would stop breathing if Dee Dee and I were pushing the stroller too fast through a mall or even holding her and walking too fast, if we pushed her too hard on the swing she would simply let go in fright…or would go stiff and turn purple.
Dee Dee and I spent the first few months of her life waiting on baby Mandy to exhale…followed by a blood-curling scream! Didn’t know then babies could have anxiety attacks…to this day Mandy still doesn’t handle big crowds well or tight places…and ends up leaving more times than not.
So until tomorrow…Breathing…the most important thing we do each day… with little thought or concern… until the day we can’t catch our breath and then it becomes the most important thing we wish to resume…immediately. We would give away everything we owned for just one more breath.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Yesterday I got a “snow day” and it made me so happy. I had my monthly oncology exam scheduled but I got an office call saying they were completely backed-up and my oncologist had looked at my latest tests and said that unless I was having problems…she could wait and see me after Thanksgiving…some time in December if that suited me.
I was beyond happy…a “free” day with sun in the sixties! So I planted pansies in my “Dutch iron shoe planters” Pam gave me…Luke helped me plant the newest grandchild Japanese Maple…a productive day to create new life and appreciate the autumn colors in the garden.
The orange colored Japanese maples look good against the Clemson bottle tree and the sassafras leaves are gorgeous in the fall.
Jakie’s CD class had its Thanksgiving feast and invited parents…Mandy was teaching but John was able to go and it was too cute. It was easy to spot just how much work Jake’s teachers put in this special event…let’s hear it for the hardworking teachers in our classrooms.