This Absurd Miracle

Early one morning, I got good and lightheaded. 

Of the sweaty, head between my legs, taking deep, yawning breaths variety. 

It was likely caused by stale, unmoving air in the room I was in. Coupled with my own shallow breathing.

Wonderfully, I am a-okay now. 

But as I sat there, folded over with my head dropped between my legs, I was working on my breathing. Big breath in, long breath out. Big breath in, long breath out.

I began to feel better and my mind - as minds often do when the worry has subsided - began to move onto other things. 

Except there was this little awareness that arose: I don't normally need to think about my breathing. Our bodies breath for us, without us asking, telling, making effort. 

For sure, some of us have conditions that can make breathing more effortful, but most all of us have known stretches of time where our breath came in, breath went out without us giving it a second thought. 

So, as I walked to work, I felt some awe, alongside some gratitude: My body's breathing for me. 

While I steeped tea and looked for napkins, my body was breathing for me. 

When I got annoyed about the slowness of the wifi, my body kept right on breathing for me. 

And it's not just me - there are bodies breathing all over the place. In the dairy aisle, walking down the street, rowing on the river, typing at the desk. 

The business of breathing is an absurd miracle, made no less miraculous by the fact that it's happening all the time. 

I'm not sure if we can always hold the miraculousness of it as we try to find a parking space or sit through meetings going sideways or get notice that our flight's been canceled. 

But perhaps when we yawn, sneeze, pant working out, we can take a moment to recognize the absurd miracle that is our breathing body.

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FocusCaitie Whelan