If you have recently visited Pavones Yoga Center, you likely saw the Enormous Day greeting at the entrance. If you have been a part of one of our teacher training programs, you may even know part of the story behind it. If a story could be said to belong to someone, my aunt Mimi would be the owner of this one. After telling my version of it a few times, I recently returned to the source and asked Mimi if she would ever consider writing what I called “Jimmy’s Enormous Day Story.” Low and behold she not only would, but already had. What follows are excerpts written in 2005 and reprinted with gracious permission from Mimi.
Jimmy’s Enormous Day Story
“My five year-old nephew, Jimmy, and my husband, Ron are buddies. In early infancy, Jimmy’s sensitivity to the quick advances and loud voices of his aunts challenged his Uncle Ron to slowly and quietly soften his way into Jimmy’s young heart. He did, and they became playful and connected companions. Too soon for Jimmy, Ron died of cancer. Even when Jimmy mentioned that he was forgetting what his Uncle Ron looked like, he did not forget Uncle Ron. He kept his child’s sensitive, open heart and expanded his companionship to include Ron’s spirit, the same ethereal connection that links my life to Ron today.
Recently Jimmy asked his mom if he could visit Uncle Ron’s grave. In accordance with Ron’s wishes there is no grave. Instead of a tombstone, friends and family gathered in a ceremony to spread Ron’s ashes around our homestead one year after his death. This time I invited Jimmy to my home to revisit the fort where he and Ron had played and where Jimmy first left Ron’s ashes. The play structure seemed to symbolize his Earth connection to his uncle. He and I had a little ceremony; Jimmy deposited Ron’s ashes near the ladder and I secured the orange ashes-cloth to a post of the fort. As I left Jimmy with his thoughts, I overheard him tell Uncle Ron that he missed him. He then climbed up the ladder, and, high atop the fort, he threw a handful of freshly fallen walnuts across the lawn.
Because Jimmy had so spontaneously opened his heart to sharing, I wanted to share my spot where I go to be with Ron‘s spirit. It is in our field, located at the fork along the walking path where we planted a Norway spruce many years ago. On a bough, I tied a patch of red t-shirt that once held Ron’s ashes and a lovely hawk feather I found along the path the summer he died.
Jimmy was quiet and watchful as we approached my spot. I volunteered that I talk to Ron whenever I approach the tree. Doing so brings me comfort. In ending, I said I bow to the tree and to Ron’s spirit before returning home and then I say, ‘Namaste, Ron. Namaste.‘ Jimmy listened attentively, engrossed in the present moment. He then repeated what he heard from me…
‘Enormous day, Ron. Enormous day.’”