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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rising from Seiza

Most of yesterday afternoon I spent in the removal of two forty-year-old rose bushes. I managed to pull the dirt around the bases only to find roots as big around as my arm and just as long. Clearing another two feet of dirt, I decided that the only way the plants could be freed was to saw through the main roots. My husband bought a nine-inch branch saw a few years ago that fit my need perfectly.

I plopped down on two knees with my fanny resting on my heels and shoved that saw back and forth over the massive root. After cutting all the way through and twisting out the thorny bush, I scooted on my legs to the next plant and repeated the process. When the final rose gave way, I rotated onto the soles of my feet and stood.

With amazement, I realized that I completed a perfect Geisha seiza-style kneeling posture and managed to stand-up from that position without help, groaning, pain, or use of supporting material. Something I did when I was a child, in my twenties, and even as late as my thirties. I’m thrilled that I handled physical work without my back screaming. I’m excited that I can sit on my heels. I’m surprised at this evidence that I am no longer obese and have regained the physical motion I once had.

My aunt passed away a few years ago with cancer. She was a heavy-set woman. When Mom visited her in those last months, Aunt Kate told her that the fat kept her from being flexible not age then she pulled her leg to the side of her head. I now understand what she was talking about.

Oh yes, I still have the aches and pains the next day from overdoing on home projects. My back will always remind me of the 1980 motorcycle accident that squished my fifth lumbar. But now I find that losing the weight gives me greater range of motion and flexibility.

It is nice to feel younger.

P.S. My next-door neighbor took the rose bushes for his garden.