The Gold

By Kari Harendorf, February, 2011

Dearest Yogis and Yoginis, Our Focus of the Month for February is a letter to me from Kari Harendorf, which I found so moving and inspirational that I asked her if I could share it with you. It started because she texted me to see if I could sub out one of her classes. I said “Sure, what’s up?” Her response was that it was a really bad week (not the exact words, there may have been some profanity), and went on to tell me the details. Anyway, my response to that was… Wow, you will have to get out a shovel to find the gold this week. Below is her response. Read and weep like I did. Happy Valentines Day. With Love, Colleen

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about your text. No need for shovels. I am beyond blessed and surrounded by gold everywhere I turn in my life.

Relationships are built in the pauses. The places between the craziness of the schedules we keep and the pace of our technologically advanced age. This was a week where I was forced again and again to pause, stop and be grateful for what was already right in front of me.

In facing my dogs mortality I have rejoiced to bring him home. Remembered his puppy days and reflected on how they helped prepare me for parenthood. I am hyper aware of the velvet feel of his snout, the click click of his nails on the floor as he follows me around the house, the smell of the inside of his ear. I am making his schedule of medicines and coordinating them with his meals. Cooking organic chicken soup and brown rice so he eats well and is happy. Watching the rise and fall of his belly. I am also struck that spending a life with a dog may be the sole relationship that teaches you how to better care for a baby and later, to care for your aging parents as well. As I am tenderly doing for him now. He is my first boy, my fur baby and has been my shadow and witness for 13 years.

When your kids are sick, they need their mother. And nothing else needs your attention in the moment other than them. Bodhi slept across my chest day and night. We took 3 hour naps together. I watched him sleep. The burning touch of his febrile skin. The rise and fall of his belly. The weight of his head resting on my shoulder. Lingering in the closeness and comfort of each other. We grew closer, somehow, in our shared virus.

Wednesday night (after we texted), the girls were running around the kitchen playing after dinner and Lotus managed to step on a nail that was somehow lodged bw the floorboards. (not joking). After the screams and the blood and figuring out what happened, we spent a long time in the bathroom soaking her foot and doing wound care. When she couldn’t put her foot down the next day and walk, we spent the day at the doctor and the ER. It was my time with her. Our “nothing else takes precedence right now except you” time.

Thursday evening Karma came home with a 102.5 fever. And I knew it was her turn. She stayed in her jammies all day Friday. We drew pictures, cooked, talked and cuddled. She napped. She healed.

We all healed. More than that. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we hit the pause button and dropped out of life this week. This is where relationships are forged, memories made and gratitude lives.

Loving all my blessings,
With new humility,

Kari Harendorf

Kari became a yoga teacher in 2001. She holds numerous yoga teaching certifications, but her favorite by far is the Yoga Shanti Teacher Training Program, which she has now completed four times: twice as a mentor, and twice on faculty. She opened East Yoga Center, in the East Village of Manhattan, in 2004, and was the director of the studio for seven years, until she moved with her family to Sag Harbor full time in 2010. Kari is thrilled to be a part of YSNY.

Read more submissions by Kari Harendorf

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.