Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Cheer

The other day, I went outside to get the mail, and I couldn't believe that I still heard birds chirping. Aren't they all supposed to fly south for the winter? Actually, we do have some birds that hang out through the winter, like cardinals, mourning doves, and the trash-diving American crows. How they can stand the cold, I'll never know! Today, I went outside to catch our recycle bin that was flying down the street - we were having winds up to 28 mph this afternoon. It was already around 20 degrees, but adding in the wind that was biting my face off, it actually felt like zero.

Last week, my husband and I finished Section 1 of our tai chi class (for the second time). We are learning the Yang style of tai chi, 103 form from Han Hoong Wang of the Michigan Tai Chi Center. The 103 form is broken down into three sections, which is a good idea because then we can get somewhat proficient in the first section before moving on. We thought we might have to take Section 1 a third time, but at the end of class, she said everyone could move on to Section 2. I was really excited to hear that, because I was itching to move on. We had a holiday party for all the students and their family and friends, which was more like a private exhibition. My husband and I participated in the Section 1 demonstration before sitting out for the rest of the time. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking, which was ridiculous because I was way in the back and no one in the audience could even see me!

We watched the more experienced students perform Sections 2 and 3, and do other performances with mulan fan, saber, sword, and short staff. Also, there were demonstrations for two-person push hands and a special solo performance by our teacher, Han.

We ended the holiday party by having everyone - students and guests - come out and try some tai chi. I recognized some of the moves and was able to perform them without excess concentration, but there were others that I didn't know at all.

We've had plenty of snow since around Thanksgiving, and I'm hoping that this year, we will have a white Christmas. We haven't had one yet since I've been out here, but I've been keeping an eye on, and it looks like it will be snowing about every other day from now until then.
Happy holidays to all, and may the next year bring peace, joy, abundance, and a bounty of exciting adventures!