My lady and I are in Pennsylvania this morning, at a motor lodge sort of near Raystown Lake. We’re picking our daughter up from her sophomore year of college. It’s an odd time of year. Most of the other guests are boaters; a good many of the others are here to watch children graduate from Penn State, thirty miles away.
And I step out of my hotel room, cross the parking lot to the grass beyond, and begin my tai chi routine. There are a few curious onlookers even at this hour. A couple of cars slow down to watch me. I realize, just a couple of moves in, that my work is on display for a crowd, of sorts. That my martial art may be judged by my effectiveness at performing it.
In the sunshine, it’s easy to give a pretty good performance, but it also feels like a performance. There’s no internal work happening here; the show is entirely external. My lungs and heart are not happy, either. I’ve had a persistent pollen-related cough for the last few days. And the shortness of breath manifests itself in an elevated heart rate during the two Qi Gong forms. Still, it’s a much better practice than yesterday. Anything would be better than yesterday.
Yesterday was something like 8 1/2 hours in the car, and today will be a similar drive home again. It will be worth it.
Happy Mothers Day, all.