This year's leap year was an extra day for most of us but for me it was the difference between life and death and a day that will always leap into my mind and heart.
My eldest son started a new job so I was in charge of his little red haired morkie. Jax is an adorable 5# puppy and my little pup- Lily’s best friend.
After teaching a beautiful morning yoga class I decided to take these eager puppies out for a walk whenever the weather is nice enough to take them out.
We have a pond next to our home and I sometimes take them around it to do a loop without leases since they stay close to me. When we approached the pond the dogs saw 12 geese and ran to the pond's edge to investigate; but stopped dead in their tracts at the cold water's edge. I laughed because then I knew they knew how cold it was and would stay away. There was a large pancake like block of ice floating in the middle of the pond. I was delighted to see this since it meant that winter was thawing out.
We ran around on the large lawn playing while ignoring the loud geese and tried to avoid the mini mountains of poo everywhere.
I suddenly heard a ruckus and looked up to see that Jax just hauled off on the floating ice deck charging toward the middle of the pond. He somehow jumped at least a foot onto the floating ice to chase them. I was screaming for him to stop while running toward the shore. He ran all the way past the ice and torpedoed in the water on the opposite side.
All I could see were his front two paws and head as I was removing my coat and boots. It was so damn cold and he wouldn't last long. I will never forget the look on his face as he kept trying to get back on the ice to safety.
No time to think- or basically I thought a million things in 5 seconds as I raced barefoot into the freezing water; it's a graduated mucky pond you can walk into but after a few feet it drops off drastically. He was 2/3 across the pond but no time to go around so i was in the water with adrenaline and sheer determination.
I had to break through the ice to get to him. He was getting tired and frantic- then he saw me coming as he went under. Oh my heart. I grabbed him and threw him back on the ice so I could swim back to shore... he jumped off back to me and then I put him on the ice so I could get back to safety faster. After the third time we both made it out.
He was shivering heavily. I was forcefully inhaling and exhaling to release the cold numb fear.
My feet and hands were numb but I held him to my heart with my coat over him carrying him back to the house with little Lily leading the way. I went directly into the steam shower and slowly thawed ourselves out. Finally he was warm and stopped shivering.
He is fine and a happy puppy again without a care in the world!
I- on the other hand am traumatized. I remembered a day long ago when I almost basically drowned at five years old and was resuscitated... this event was a potent trigger and it came back to me in a flood of tears. How interesting that these long lost and hidden memories come back with traumatic events. I don't speak of it often, but now you know that I have always had a deep love, respect and fear of the water. I’m a Pisces and yet it’s true… I do not float but I sink. I never ever thought i could save myself let alone someone else from long ago.
The good news is I saved him… and in the process I saved myself even in the fear of death and those long lost fears.
A past-life karmic debt was paid on leap year.
As I was racing in the pond my thoughts were- I can't let my sons pup die on my watch and if I'm going to die saving him that's what's going to happen.
I was not much good for anything for the rest of the day other than feeling extremely blessed and grateful that we are all alive and well.
I felt as if I had leapt years back to a childhood memory long ago that shockingly resurfaced after all was said and done... I faced that dreadful fear and in the process I had overcome.
I have discovered self-realization and courage in my yoga practice and teachings. The lessons on the mat are a reflection of living life in union of body, mind and spirit. Yoga has provided me with the determination and tools to be present no matter what happens in life. To be present when needed and have a disciplined focus is yoga's gift of perseverance and equanimity. The courage to do what is right and just is the process of living from the heart. I took a leap of faith in frigid murky waters to save this sweet little life.
I'm ever so thankful to be fully ALIVE.