When I stepped onto our deck this morning to practice taiji, the forest was dripping with an early mist. We live in a second-story condo, so our deck is ten feet up into the Douglas firs and cedars surrounding us.
It was close enough past sunrise that the light was still soft; the only sounds were the drip of the light rain on the forest floor and a distant bird’s faint call.
I stood unmoving for several moments, as I always do before beginning the taiji forms, allowing the surrounding stillness to enter my skin, muscles, and bones. As I started to move, I thought of sliding through the silent space between the rain and the bird, not wanting to disturb their music.
After several minutes, the bird’s call became louder, and then louder again as it moved closer through the forest. By the time I was halfway through the forms, the bird was in one of the closest trees.
I wanted to look, to see if I could find the owner of the song, but felt that to turn the focus of my attention outward this way would send a noise crashing through the woods. So I just kept moving in the slipstream of the music. As I reached the end and stood unmoving again, the bird’s song went silent as well.
Our dance was done.