Thanksgiving in Florida

photo 2What I have learned since I practice yoga is so predominant in my life that I feel obliged to share with you all a little. Yoga has saved me throughout the last 13 years in ways that I can somewhat describe, but would be more easily transmitted to you, if I gave you a hug. It is energy. My being is no longer the same. I am changed and constantly changing.

On Tuesday I arrived in Fort Lauderdale. I am on vacation from my daily life, in search of more meaning. As I dropped my bags in the beautiful space my friend offered me to live in, I took another glance before I shut the door behind me to head to the beach. I am so lucky and what do I do to deserve this? My only explanation is: yoga.

I walk for a good half an hour before arriving on a windy beach, high tide waves and the water touching my skin awakes all my senses. I stroll up and down  for a while watching the wave surfers and the general peace that exist when we are in nature where we belong.

I settle down in the corner and close my eyes to meditate. A deep meditation as the sun hits my skin and radiates my being. I can’t say how much longer after, could have been a few minutes, or hours, but I am pulled out of my deep relaxation by an incredible force of energy. A woman screaming at a child! I turn and observe as my throat is chocked. She continues to scream at the child, swearing and overpowering the helpless being. I am in turmoil. My instinct telling me to intervene. My social upbringing urging me to mind my own business. Now, who I assume is the husband, arrives with a toddler on his shoulders. The overweight, frustrated woman tells him that the 8-year old boy has spilled tea on him. Moments later the story changes and he apparently spit on her. She continues to scream at the boy: “if you were my child I would smack you around the face.” My heart is crying, my body is numb. I feel helpless and want to intervene, so I stare at them as my mind races and I realize I have to help this soul. The child stands still as he cries and listens to both adults tell him off. The woman walks towards the beach with the toddler as the father continues to interrogate the boy. The child is obviously in need of a hug but neither parents acknowledge the need for love here,  but rather diminish this child’s existence. The father now joins the woman and the toddler about 15 meters toward the beach leaving the boy all alone. This is it, I can’t take it and grab my things, get up to walk over to the boy. I put my hand on his heart as I see his tears rolling down his right check only, and all I can say is : you are beautiful. Be good.

I wish I has said I love you, but in the moment I already felt the stares of the man from far. His energy hurt my soul. The boy nodded and suddenly had the courage to go join his family. I observe the man asking him: “What did she say?”  The boy answered though I was unable to lip read his response from the angle I was at now, further in distance near the sidewalk. I hope that he will always remember that he is his own being and I hope he will fight for his voice.

“Don’t be silent about things that matter”

Maybe it was not my place to do what I did but there is a higher force and I cannot accept the suffering caused by humans to one another. There was a time I would ignore, but it is those who ignore that enable this continuous behaviour. A child is helpless to defend himself and must be protected. If not by his parents than by another.  We are all one.

On my second day I stayed by the pool and went to yoga. Today is thanksgiving and I am thankful for the strength I have gained over the years through my yoga practice. The strength that allows me to stand up for what I believe in.

See you all in class!


Jasmine Gercke