It’s Solstice. Shortest day of the year, longest night. Now, we start heading toward summer again. Yes to that.
We had a fresh snowfall yesterday, so this morning Mike and I took the puppies out cross-country skiing on the acreage adjacent to our house. They are learning all kinds of things, so this was just one of many lessons. To follow alongside and not wreck the tracks. To pace oneself; not run circles at the beginning and wear oneself out before the route is complete. To stay with one’s pals and not go running off to eat deer poop. Cap’n, with more border collie in her than golden retriever, was obsessing over the confounding tips of our skis, which kept disappearing under the snow and then reappearing—they must be controlled!! This kept us from going very fast most of the time. But it was just practice. First time out.
All in all, the trip was a success. We skied about 30 acres, climbing the slope and then ending with a long glide back to the house. The puppies went straight to their beds for a nap.
Solstice is a time for reflection. Quietude. Can’t do much outside, or for very long. Better to sit in a cozy place with a warm drink and stare at a fireplace, or a lighted tree, or a book, or children playing, or puppies napping.
I’m 44, probably midway through my life (if I’m lucky) or midway through my adulthood (if I’m not as lucky). At this point I feel pretty comfortable with everything I do. Driving, work, marriage. How people work. I feel like I’ve got a handle on things. There’s been a lot of practice along the way, and a lot of lessons learned.
This is, of course, not to say I know everything—I’m smart enough to know that a lot of people are much smarter than I am. Plus: I’m enjoying my graduate studies; I still want to improve on fiddle and bass; I’d love to pick up Spanish again; I intend to learn to fish while I live in Wallowa County.
I’ve been around long enough to be beaten down by life a few times. Some of those times have been especially hard to take, and hard for me to shake. Starting over can seem like regression; how many times am I going to liquidate my possessions at a yard sale only to replace them shortly thereafter? But maybe it’s like shedding a skin. Or a rebirth; a new chapter. A new year is coming, I’m 44, and I feel like it’s important to look forward. So I’m going to make an effort to leave behind the darkness of past injustices and head toward the light of new opportunities.
As I typed that, a deer and her fawn walked past my window, down the driveway. Following the sun. I’m going to take that as a good omen.