I am extraordinarily grateful for my body. I agree with Susannah's quote from C.S. Lewis that we don't "have" souls. We are souls and we "have" bodies. But I remain very grateful that we have them. My body gives me a way to interact with the physical world. With my marvelous, miraculous body I can walk though the fields of snow in Ghor, I can taste chocolate and mango, I can stroke my niece's cheek and I can run along the waterfront, smelling the seasalt in the air. I am mostly very happy with my body. It is strong enough to carry my increasingly hefty nephew when his legs get tired. My legs can keep me going for literally hours, even up hills. It is healthy and all my senses work well. Sometimes I get frustrated that my muscles don't have more 'give' in them, more range of movement or flexibility. Some days I avoid the yoga mat because I resent that I struggle to touch my toes. But when I went for a yoga practice session with Vicel, the fabulous Filipino woman I met here in Herat who teaches yoga, she told me that I was very strong, especially in my core, and that I had excellent balance. I remembered to value my strength and balance, and accept that flexibility will come. When I went to the Yoga Centre in New Zealand the teacher commented on my excellent "body awareness" and I realised that this is not something that comes naturally to everyone. This is something to value and appreciate about myself. When I read how some people paint or draw or make things to replenish their soul, I think about dancing, and moving, and dancing, and skipping, and dancing, and running, and dancing, and jumping. And dancing, did I mention dancing. I love to dance, I love music with a drum beat and a deep soulful bass that picks me up and cradles me in its rhythm. I love music that trips and plays and swirls about me so unexpectedly that the only way to dance with it is to let go completely and trust that your body with find its way to follow. I take a secret pride in the fact that my Brazilian ex-boyfriend thought I danced as though I was Brazilian, and that almost every Latin American I have ever danced with insists that I must be a little bit Latin (not at all, unless Irish counts?). I dance in the kitchen when I'm cooking, I dance down the aisles of the supermarket, I dance around my office and I dance along the street. Here in Herat my body is feeling a little bit stifled, but I'm remembering how to dance in my bedroom with the curtains drawn. Anyone for Madonna circa 1984? PS: The photo is of Wendie (in the blue) and me (in the pink) half way through a half marathon. I started out this race almost falling over from the effects of jet lag after flying in from East Timor the day before, but we finished up coming in at 4th (equal, of course) out of the women and 16th overall in this race. We ran in new personal bests at 1hr 54mins for the half marathon. I love that memory and I love this photo.