fitness · winter

Welcoming winter– a solstice walk

Today is December 21– winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (congratulations on the summer solstice, friends Down Under!) But here, especially in New England where I live, it’s the time of deepest darkness.  Usually I dread, resist, and do battle with the decreasing light, cursing the darkness until it starts to ebb and we get more sun.

This year has been different.  I’ve almost welcomed the dimness, the purples and indigos of the sky.  Even the long shadows at noon, with the dark yellow light, haven’t made me sad or resentful.  This year, the dimming down has fit in with my need to slow down psychically, physically, emotionally.  And I must say, it’s felt like one advantage of slowing down has been that there’s time and space to notice more.

I’ve noticed my need to be with friends, and spent more time with them this fall.

I’ve noticed how much I love to hear live music, and have been to some concerts.

I’ve noticed how much I like quiet sometimes, and have been nestled all snug in my bed earlier than usual.

I’ve noticed my need to commemorate the season, with others.

So, I organized a winter solstice walk today.  Two friends, Kim and Nina, who were free before sunset (which was 4:15pm today) came with me to Lone Tree Hill, part of the Belmont Conservation Lands.  We took a leisurely walk through partly snowy woods, down a tall tree allee, along a big meadow, and back down again.  Here we are:

Catherine, Kim, and NIna, all bundled up in winter clothing for a winter solstice walk.
Catherine, Kim, and NIna, all bundled up in winter clothing for a winter solstice walk.


I’m wearing my head lamp, which we needed on the way back.

The beauty of the day is hard to describe, and these pictures won’t do it justice, but here’s trying:

Walking at dusk is slow; you have to pay attention to your footing, and make sure you take the correct turns through woods.  We lingered, and I was sorry to leave.

Tomorrow there will be more light.  I’ll welcome it for sure, but am really glad I got to experience the shortest day with friends, in the woods, and now, with you, dear readers.

How do you feel about the shortest day, which is now behind us?  Are you enjoying your longest day?  Let us know.