Winter’s Solstice

by winteryder

The gravitational pull of the dark, of the cold, of winter’s longest day- grounds me. I lean into it. Lining my driveway with luminaries, lighting crackling wood-wick candles, flickering snowflake lights dancing on the porch, star-shine softly glowing in the living room window, all is quiet and still.

3 hours, 41 minutes of daylight today at this latitude and the sun crept over the horizon, spilling deep liquid gold through the windows for a brief 45 minutes.

The gravitational pull of my bed was profound, when my alarm chimed itself awake. If not for my dog licking my nose repeatedly, I might have opted for another two hours of sleep rather than dress out for a date with a 53# kettle bell.

The date won. 150 KB swings, 250 yards of single arm farmer’s carry. Admittedly, I love it when these simple workouts show up. A 53# KB is a familiar friend compared to carrying sloshing 7 gallon water jugs in each hand and navigating icy paths, trails and slip-n-slide driveways.

This is the first week in two years that I haven’t had to haul water. Let that sink in. I can turn on the faucet and potable water actually flows out of it. It’s a wonder, I tell ya.

I’m feeling the difference, already, in my workouts. It’s amazing how being able to set down one enormous chore, one massive compounded burden, frees up physical time and space and energy to devote to other things. Not driving 20 miles round trip every day just to shower my kiddo. That’s a big one.

This winter solstice arrived softly, like fat snowflakes at 20 degrees. It doesn’t take much to make me smile, to bring waves of gratitude and deep-seated contentedness. Shelter. Running water. Food in my fridge. A few good friends.

The wealth of having one’s basic human needs met is unspeakably good. Today, as the light returns and we are gifted with an additional four seconds of daylight… I’m thankful.

Thankful for the dark, lonely, difficult days

For anxiety and heartbreak and emptiness

For the absence of love

I’m thankful for my wings, forged in the dark

For the strength of determination, spirit and soul

For friendship and laughter

I’m thankful for all that has come and gone

And the empty hands and heart held open

With intention

As this year comes to a close, I’m ending chapters and closing the books on the most painful and difficult timeframe in my entire life. I’m opening the doors to 2016 with a new perspective and with certainty, confidence and a smile.

Bring it.

This year, I will build new friendships and adventure far and wide within each day given to me. This year, I choose ‘forward’.