A few weeks ago the yearly Yang cycle, started on the first day of spring, ended for the Northern hemisphere and it then started for the Southern hemisphere, in perfect alternation and harmony.

Start and end are the most common words used to define the borders of a cycle but for the life cycle I prefer the terms used by my friend and sifu (teacher) Alessio: expansion and contraction. These words help us eliminate all the drama that the word “end” carries in many cultures making painful beyond reason an event that is actually very common in the nature surrounding us (day/night, rain/sun, flower/fruit).

When we allow our inner self to expand end contact a fellow human being our heart and mind reach places that we did not even know they existed; to increase the chances for this to happen our will must come into play and we have to take the first step, the hardest part, and extend our hand not only virtually but in the real life. I stopped so many times fearing that the other person would not take it or that the reality would be different from the appearance… that made the result certain: the expansion did not start and I lost a chance that did not come back. Sure, there have been other hands but it was not the same because “you cannot step in the same river twice” (Heraclitus).

This year I extended my hand, at the most unbelievable time and unlikely circumstances I could ever think of, and it was taken so the expansion started.

The journey that ensued touched the elements of my life that were ready to expand after the very long period of contraction they had been subjected to: awareness of myself and of others.

I so discovered that I could be loved “regardless” instead of “because I deserved it” and that being barefoot is the simplest and most exciting way to feel alive and part of nature.

My learning curve is still young and I therefore did not notice when the expansion slowed and the contraction started: those that were around me and noticed it thankfully loved me enough to avoid depriving me from the experience of living the cycle in its entirety and be able to learn everything I was ready to learn. When the contraction took literally made me breathless and I had to take the medications I did not really understand what I was supposed to learn and I had to wait a few weeks for it to happen and for me to be able to write about it: the pain during the contraction is inversely proportional to the joy we experience during the expansion but nothing can take away from me the experiences I lived and the things I learned, therefore I shall leave any great pain coming my way in the future with gratitude because it will be the natural, harmonic consequence of a great joy and a huge learning before it.

Thank you female cat, until the next cycle: I’ll be there.

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth (Thich Naht Hanh)


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