Growing up in a military family I moved often. My parents are caring and patient and we had the good fortunate of having the basic comforts while in transition, but I still often found myself searching for a sense of home and comfort in my new space. When I was very young I would schlep around an extra bag containing a favorite book, picture and stuffed animal when we were moving so I could keep what felt like home close while everything changed around me.
As I grew older I found myself wanting to venture out on my own, trading my bag of play things for a cozy light blue and white cotton sleeping bag that I took to sleepovers and to camp. No matter where I was, what was going on or who was, or wasn’t, there, that sleeping bag made me feel as though I was home. When I moved out on my own I began backpacking and retired my cotton sleeping bag for an extra warm light weight mummy sleeping bag. I slept on it in college when I forgot to do laundry. I slept in it when I stayed at friends’ houses and when I was deep in the woods. All I had to do was lay down in that bag to know that I was going to be warm, safe and clean. I knew that with that sleeping bag I could travel as far or for as long as I pleased and be rested and ready for a new day. When I moved to the Cascade Mountains I kept my beloved mummy bag in my car in the winter in case of emergency and once slept in it when I became too sick to get up and keep my cabin’s wood stove warm. My sleeping bag didn’t actually promise me unbounded safety but my heart felt grounded in what it represented.
Today I still have a strong love for my sleeping bag and appreciation for those childhood toys, but now I find my item of material comfort is my yoga mat. I have come to appreciate the smell of it, its grounding green, the feel of it on my feet and hands. I love to see it rolled up and tucked in the strap of my travel bag or waiting for me on the shelf. When I am on my mat it doesn’t matter what town I might be in, what the rest of my day demands or how tired I might be. When I am on my mat I am in my practice. I am safe. I am me. I am home.