On Easter Sunday, I rose early at my dad’s house. His house sits on a hill with a somewhat manicured lawn that gives way to a wild grass meadow, bordered by stone walls and trees with silhouettes barely visible in the predawn light.

I went downstairs, rampaging gratitude on each step—a new day, breath in my lungs, daughters in their beds, my brain, roof over my head, electricity, running water, pain-free body—before I sat in the living room for my practice.

About an hour or so later, fully energized and calm, I slipped on a bathing suit, a pair of loose sweatpants, and a jacket and headed out the side door, skipping slowly across the field to where the trees part for a steep, well-worn footpath leading to the lake below.

At the water’s edge, I peeled down to my bathing suit and hat and did several rounds of fire dance breathing, really hoping the few people who live across the lake weren’t up.

Sufficiently warmed, I half-crouched into the shallow water, navigating the slippery rocks and reeds. The cold grabbed my breath and stung my legs. I paused. My sister’s voice echoed in my head: Shoulders in, Rob. I slunk down. It was official.

Timer on.

Everything slowed down

Breath deepened

Colors brightened

Mind stilled

Timer off.

Back on the grass, I danced some more, dried off, and strolled up the hill to start the day.