Baby elephant walk (HLD 185)

23 Sept 2020

I made a flying visit earlier this week to visit my sister and my Mum.

Because my sister and I had a morning meeting in Busselton at Mum’s nursing home, I went to my sisters house the day before and stayed with her overnight.

My sister lives on a largish bush block out of Dunsborough, and one of the first sights I saw on arrival were the kangaroos lounging around on her lawn. My eyes flicked furiously between the wildlife and the bush setting, racing to try to take in all the serenity on display.

Before I got a chance to adjust to being all peaceful and calm and stuff, some friends arrived at her place for their weekly tai chi class.

Me being me, of course I figured I’d join in. How difficult could it be? Sure, I’ve never done tai chi before, but as it doesn’t involve turning yourself into pretzel shapes, lifting objects the weight of a small hatchback, or running up hills, I figured I should be able to manage it.

Obviously there is a very confronting reason why (as I now realise) I’ve never done tai chi before…. you don’t talk. You are meant to stand peacefully, making purposeful but controlled movements, absorbing the peace and calm and mastering control over your body.

Well – that’s what the others did, anyway. The newby lurched around like a drunken baby elephant, desperately trying to suppress inane giggling, comments about the highly inappropriate names she was mentally giving to a lot of the movements, and conscious constantly of trying not to fart (successfully, I should note).

The other participants finished the first session in a heightened state of peace and serenity, and celebrated this calmness with a (large) glass of wine and some nibbles, before the second session commenced.

Fortunately by this session, there was a bit more chatter happening, along with verbalising of the inappropriate names THEY had given some of the movements, and the drunken baby elephant did not crash into furniture or other participants this time. It was still a close call, though.

I emerged from my first experience of tai chi slightly relaxed (could have been the wine, to be fair), and very pleased to have not broken anything.

The next morning I wandered around the property before we headed into town – absorbing the early morning sounds of the birds, the breeze through the trees, the light misting of rain settling on leaves and branches, the excitement of the chooks who thought I was going to give them something to eat, and the smell of the bush.

It was kind of like tai chi, but without the inappropriate jokes.

One of the movements in tai chi was literally “groin punch” – I kid you not. Calm and peaceful my arse.

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