Yesterday I made my first trip of the season to Snoqualmie Falls, which is 270 feet of roar and rock and crashing, splashing, misting water 29 miles east of downtown Seattle.
It was the Fourth of July, but somehow I thought everybody else would be home counting their fireworks, making potato salad and firing up the grill. Silly me. There were so many people at the Falls that I had to park in the most distant lot.
But no matter. As soon as I walked to the overlook I could feel tremendous energy in my lower back—not only at the mingmen, an energy center on the lower spine that’s connected with the kidneys, but also in the sacrum, which was being pulled to the earth. Kidney/bladder energy, I supposed—and not surprising, given all the water power of the Falls.
I found a spot at the overlook railing and began somewhat surreptitiously doing a Yi Ren Qigong exercise that didn’t require much movement. There were people to either side of me, but it didn’t seem to bother them that my thumbs were holding down some of my fingers or that I was occasionally pulsing my hands towards and away from my abdomen and chest.
I must have stood at the railing at least 20 minutes. Towards the end, my torso felt so full of energy that I wondered if I might burst. (Afterwards, I thought, “How fitting for the Fourth!”)
I left the railing, walking slowly because my sacrum was still being pulled to the earth, and found an unoccupied area of lawn where I did some taiji, some very slow taiji. As I was nearing the end of the form, I noticed a young man doing a much more vigorous form of some martial art on the other side of the lawn.
I caught up with him as we were both leaving the overlook area, and he told me he’d been doing Dahnmudo, a Korean meditative martial art most likely in the same ballpark as qigong.
He was not Korean, although some of the people he was with might have been.
And indeed, around me at the Falls were people of every conceivable skin color.
America really is an amazing place.