by Steph Creaturo
While rushing down Court Street, stocking up on decidedly Brooklyn-esque disaster essentials like organic lemons and avocados and gluten-free chips, I felt a squishy sensation under the heel of my big red Hunter rainboot. I was already half a step ahead when I was then reeled back. “Ugh,” I thought. As a veteran of poop – two dogs, three cats, and one toddler later – I totally knew what just happened.
For the first time in an hour, I stopped. I stared at my boot heel, which had indeed landed in a generous pool of slimy dog crap in front of Book Court. My first thoughts were not compassion for the dog’s owner (because it’s hard to clean up the slimy stuff), but an angry fist wave and middle finger salute.
As I stood there, with the hustle of hurricane preparations swirling around me, I realized how checked out I had been as I marched through my hurricane readiness list. Too many bags with too many things I really didn’t need were hanging off my arms. My wallet jutted precariously out of my purse because of the two mason jars (don’t ask), a water bottle, and all the assorted paraphernalia that is necessary during non-hurricane life: mala beads, wet wipes, seven red lipsticks, and Matchbox cars. And I was trying to talk to my mom on the phone.
I had been my own little tsunami of unaware, focused on buying my groceries for my family because we would be shut in during the hurricane.
The very first word in Patanjali’s yoga sutras is Atha, or “now”. Right-o. Yoga is now. And how right, once again, ancient sage man was, as I looked at how silly my now just was, thanks to my own doing.
Hitting reset, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, slid my heel out of the poop as gracefully as I could, said good-bye to my mom, and reorganized my totally unessential essentials. I reeled in my mental middle finger and said a silent “thank you” to the owner of the dog who left the mess there, in the middle of Court Street, for teaching me sometimes you have to step in real shit to stop trailing your metaphorical shit everywhere.