This morning I awoke with a gasp to the stifling summer heat in the air. I rolled over and saw it was 4:30am. A smile spread across my face because I knew the sun had yet to begin her ascent. I grabbed a sweater and climbed the winding staircase to the rooftop. The warm breeze kissed my legs as I stepped out onto the terrace. There, dazzling in front of me, was the Manhattan skyline— a concrete jungle full of dreams and chaos. “Oh the love/hate relationship I have with this city,” I thought for a moment, and then as the sunrise began, the pink lights in the sky robbed all of my attention.
I’ve just returned from a week long vacation in Ibiza— the magical white island. It is known as a party island, but there is so much more beauty and splendor than meets the eye. It is the home of one of the few magnetic centers on the planet, and indeed there is a special energy in the air. My fourth trip here, and I found myself more in awe with sunrise and sunset than ever before. Could the beauty of nature be enhancing before my eyes, or has there been a shift within me? Am I becoming more sensitive to all that Mother Nature has to share?
“Why are we leaving?” I shout to my friends as I reluctantly made my way to the van, “The movie is still playing you know? Look at the pink in the sky. Look at how amazing this is!” I couldn’t understand why we were leaving Experimental Beach as the light of the sun was dancing with the clouds in the sky creating one the most spectacular aesthetic masterpieces I had ever seen. I leaned out the window and gazed at the display. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted revel in the moment— in the beauty of the sky.
“Nikki, I think it’s time for you to make some moves,” said my friend. “You get lost in the sea, you get lost in the sand, you get lost in the sky. It’s time for you to leave New York.” And I began to cry.
Earlier that day in Formentera, I dove off the boat and swam my way to a tiny remote island off the coast. Slithered my way onto the hot white sand and relishing the heat against my bare skin, I began to bury myself. Mmmm how good it feels! I rolled over onto my stomach, cuddled up some sand under my arms, rested my cheek down, and gazed out to the sparkling sea. “Nikki!” I opened my eyes to see my friend making his way out of the water. Whoops! I had fallen asleep. He smiled at me and I laughed. I stood up, covered in sand, and made my way over to him sliding my gritty arm around his waist as we walked back into the sea.
He was right. When I’m in nature, I’m in my element. There is a flame that ignites in my being and I feel most alive when I’m one with the earth. I have a romantic love with nature— an infinite, passionate, fulfilling kind of love with her. She feeds my soul. She makes me better.
Yesterday I was at a concert in Prospect Park and while everyone was standing, I decided to lie down on the blanket and stare up into the sky. As I looked up into the trees and then up into the sky to find the one twinkling star, Venus, I could really feel the music. Every sunrise and sunset you can find me wandering off into the distance. Without even thinking about it I begin my energy practices of yoga, qigong, and meditation. I don’t even realize what I’m doing until it’s happening— it just pours out of me— or rather it is pulled out of me. When I’m in nature, the volume of life crescendos.
And as for the sun— there’s something about that hot, curvy body in the sky. The sun is the life energy for all living beings. She is a perfect reflection— the ultimate provider— all-giving without expecting anything in return. As with the cycle of life, she continues on at her own pace, trusting in time. No two encounters are ever the same as she interacts with the clouds in the sky—each enhancing the presence of the other. She is a force of nature.
The moments I gaze into her majesty are always the moments I find most clarity and feel a boundless, infinite love. She burns away the worry and the fear. Her warming rays engulf me, providing me with comfort and warmth, reminding me of my purpose and passion. She inspires me. Oh how she inspired me. And every morning, to begin my yoga practice, I face her and salute her with salutations.
So as I lay— arms stretched behind my head, legs crossed, and my heart open to the sky— the rising sun inspiring this blog, as she lights the Manhattan skyline on fire this beautiful morning. My wonderful friends that accompanied me on the Ibiza trip, and the beautiful souls I met that call that pretty little island home also inspired me. And I realize it won’t be long before I make my home some place close to the warmth, and of course with a view, of our galaxy’s bright, burning heart.