Today I’m dragging. Yesterday was my schools’s mock trial performance, and, not to put too fine a point on it, I was exhausted and worn down. It was canceled once already, two weeks ago; it snowed for most of the day (in that light, breezy way that says, “oh don’t mind me…I’m not planning on sticking around” while at the same time it piles up and puts black ice on road surfaces, and otherwise makes a hash of things; and I seem to be working through my usual round of seasonal affective doldrums. Harrumph.

Getting up to do tai chi today felt like a weight on my chest. Even doing the two qigong forms didn’t do much to improve my mood. I couldn’t understand why at all. Maybe it’s that I feel I haven’t done anything new with my chi studies in days if not weeks; or that I’ve got a lot on my plate right now (22 days without chewing my fingernails, part of another experiment I’m running), or just that it’s February in New England… Aieee.

And yet. And yet, during the tai chi form itself, I overshot the turn on one of the spins by about 25 degrees. My toes, instead of being aimed at the right side of the library doors to the hallway, we’re aimed at the bookshelves to the right of the door. You may think this is an insignificant difference, but it meant that I was going to have to do the next set of steps more gingerly, so I didn’t knock over the bookcase or knock my head on it during one of the next several postures — instead of moving into the doorframe for a few steps.

My brain contemplated this order of movements for a moment, and I almost felt myself resign myself to this more challenging direction. And then my toes popped up off the floor on my right leg. My left leg was already in the air, bent at the knee and hip to prepare for a kick (and my delay stemmed from not wanting to kick a heavily laden bookcase). And my toes popped up.

It was like the ball of my foot grabbed hold of part of the floor and pulled itself left about twenty degrees. This put a crink in my foot arch, so then my heel shifted. This put instability in my ankle, do my ankle realigned to the new foot position. That brought my calf and knee and hip into alignment. And then the rest of my body.

I was facing the right place.

My whole body had followed the dictates of my foot. My foot had realigned me, and my body responded to that change. And I was able to proceed with the form normally. Extraordinary.