This week marks what would have been Grandma’s 81st birthday. In 2002 she died of bone and pancreatic cancer. It was a relatively quick process. They found cancer in December, just before Christmas, and she was gone by the end of April.

I make note of this because I’ve been thoughtfully contemplating passages. As I grounded into my last yoga pose of class yesterday evening, I turned my head to the side. My gaze fell on the emergency door that opens out to the street. Over the period of an hour I noticed families and friends walking by, a girl talking on her phone and smoking a cigarette while cars rushed by.

A parallel image took hold in my head: me lying on my yoga mat in class and also on the sidewalk, just outside the door only a few feet away. This image got me thinking about passages and the importance of space.

What spaces are important? How do spaces contribute to peacemaking? Are some spaces more powerful as compared to others? The word ‘passages’ conjures up time or the passing of time, how does space change over time? How do ‘passages’ contribute to our growth?

In that one hour did the space change? My mat soaked up sweat, the air temperature and humidity increased and then sharply decreased toward the end of class. More importantly, we—the class—changed in that space.

We stretched and breathed deeper. We moved into sequences of poses with more fluidity. We focused, but we also let go.

Grandma let go over 10 years ago, but I haven’t stopped holding her in my heart.

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