“I was told you should do the 1 legged stork dance.” That’s what the spirits told my friend Ann when she journeyed about my healing. Hobbling around in a hightech protective boot after a chainsaw injury didn’t seem like the time to start up my morning dance practice again. For the first few weeks I had to keep my foot elevated to get the swelling down. I did not feel stork-like.
Continuum is a form of movement originally developed for people suffering from spinal injuries. Its geared towards small movements – microscopic – for those who don’t seem to be able to move at all.
Today I call on its breath work as I balance first on one leg, then on my protective boot. I start to sprout wings. I struggle with flight. I wobble. Sure enough, I’m doing a stork dance, albeit clumsily.
Most people would not call this dance. Its slow, my eyes are mostly closed, I’m feeling my way across the land. I rely on my breath to guide the movement. I’m opening to a wave of spirit immanent in the land.
Nothing awakens me like dance. I can feel my foot relaxing, letting its energy open into the earth. When I first started this practice I would begin by putting my hands flat on the ground chanting “my heart in the earth, the earth in me, my heart in the earth, the earth in me…” Now I let my healing foot do the communion. I feel into the wound and extend my attention down into the center of the earth.
That step alone helps quite a bit. Its natural to pull back from a wounded part of yourself, we don’t like to feel our own damage. Spending time there doesn’t hurt, it just reminds me that I’m hurt. But the more time I spend there, the better every part of me feels. Shock and stress disappear, the healing power of the land comes forth.
I will be practicing my stork dance for another few weeks before the pin holding my big toe steady is removed. Then I will walk barefoot on the land again as I work to regain my strength. Then the real healing begins.
Image: Stork Flying Low by Håkan Dahlström from Flickr, used under
a Creative Commons license