31 days of Movement: Winter Solstice

Use the season.  It’s cold. Public places are crowded. You can stress over it, or you can use it. 

Today I was at Target (and survived!). Faced with the choice of the escalator and the stairs, I ran up the stairs. Fun.

If the parking lots are all full, instead of stressing, rejoice. You’re getting in your walking just going to and from your errands. Take that moment to breathe and to notice what's around you. 

The lights at night really are beautiful. Find a neighborhood and go for a walk at night with people you love. 

It is today the Winter Solstice, and we tip over so that the nights, which had been growing longer, now are growing less dark one minute at a time. I am going for a run tonight, with a few other hardy souls. 

I live just a few miles away from the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo. Each year, the BioPark puts up a River of Lights with light sculptures, some of them moving figures. When my kids were small, we’d bundle them up, stuff them in the double jogger, and walk to the BioPark -- and watch the lights from outside. We did this because we were too cheap to take the family in, and we did this because it seemed the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. It’s dark, it’s cold, and we’re going out to be with the dark and the cold. This ritual felt important to me, though it often took some convincing to get the rest of the family with me. The one year that we drove there and actually went inside was nice for a change, but it didn't have the same feel for me. What I wanted was the journey there, in the dark and cold. 

Neither of my children will be running with us tonight, and my husband will stay behind to start warming the tamales and beans. I am excited to be outside in the dark. I’m excited to run with others at a time I would not choose to do so alone. I’m excited to be with the moon and the dark and then to see the festive lights  -- then turn around, head for home and warmth, hot drinks and hot food, and the company of family and friends. 

Let the season inspire you to move. Let it be an invitation. Put on the holiday music and dance together. Walk outside and see the lights together. Go howl at the moon.