during yoga practice this morning 
wet leaves on the ground from 
sunrise rainfall
golden leaf showers falling 
autumn all around 
I looked up as I rose up from a forward bend 
bow down to the Earth
rising up, catching my own eyes in my little mirror 
surrounded by feathers
I caught myself 
smiling into my own eyes in the mirror and 
I caught myself
I caught someone and
something brief, glinting, rare, transient 
I paused in my practice 
to look more deeply into my own eyes 
caught by my own gaze 
these eyes 
the skin, the face that surrounds the eyes 
this body that moves, breathes, dances so fluidly 
it feels pain, joy, flow, divinity 
I feel pain, joy, flow, divinity 
and it is all passing through 
passing on by 
movement constant 
awareness fleeting
like so many geese flying south 
the crows dancing on the thermals 
responding to my caws by flying back
looping around in the sky
thus goes these eyes 
these transient shining eyes 
with skin, a face that changes moment to moment, and daily 
I am getting older
my friends and family are all getting older
this life waits for no one
I tear my eyes away from my own eyes
reflected in the mirror 
reflecting and flexing my spine 
back downwards towards the Earth
inhaling my right leg back into a forward lunge
moving through my daily morning routine of sun salutations 
every movement a prayer 
of gratitude and deepest surrender 
a wakening of the body 
a tingling of the senses
a reconnection with the Universe 
this movement
dynamic equilibrium 

running downhill on the slippery orange autumn slope 
running down into a small grove of young trees
but they are still older than I 
they seem to hold me 
as I run down into their embrace
laughing at the cold wind bumping against my chest 
this week we studied the respiratory system 
I feel my breath flowing through my body 
I can see it interlacing with the breath of the rainbow-colored trees 
at the bottom of the hill, 
I fall to my knees
naturally curling myself into child position
a supine prayer position with my body curled into a turtle shape
my heart flat against the Earth
I breathe in and out 
deeply inhaling the autumnal sweetness of the Earth
and exhaling the heat of my own breath into the damp leaves below me 
and the rain falls down 
in fat droplets that saturate my spine 
and penetrate to my core
sending leaves raining down
like all the rainbows fluttering forth 
to blanket me in natural beauty
raindrops bouncing off the rainbow leaves below me
the sound of a zillion small drums dancing 
rhythmically pulsing 
with the beating of my heart
heavy against the forest floor 
fast from running 
and faster from pure 

exhale, exhale, exhale
in dance class
Teacher Wu taught us how to fly 
the secret is in the exhale 
when you leap into the air
leap on an exhale
allow the wind to grab you
spin you around
in acupuncture class 
Teacher Zeng taught us how to 
send energy while setting our own energetic boundaries 
setting needles into our patients
on the exhale 
perineum held tight
root chakra, mula bandha in yoga
exhale, exhale, exhale
Igor guides me around the trees
punching me over and over, 
in our systema martial arts practice 
exhale with each punch 
let it go 
let it fall away 

exhaling to fly
exhaling to establish boundaries
exhaling to relax into it all

do the autumn leaves also
as they 
let go
from the trees that held them
so dear 
to the