Today is the winter solstice…the day of the year with the least hours of sunlight and the day with the most hours of darkness…a day that celebrates the return of the sun, longer days, a rebirth and renewal of the cycle of life. A day that, for me, is a more symbolic and celebratory day than the traditional new years eve.
So this is a day that I look back and reflect but more so, I look forward. I woke today with the intention of getting back to some routines that have slid away the last few weeks. As so often happens though, the universe decided that just maybe, something else needed to be drummed into my head.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been out on the bike in the mornings. Chilly winter mornings and rain and me on my bike do not mix so I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus of late. This morning though I was ready to roll (literally, or so I thought). Spandexed up, gloves on and wind resistant coat on and I was out the door. Inspired by the day to get back to my old routines.
So, it has been a few weeks, the tires needed a bit of air. Not a big deal, I have a gas station at the end of my block. Off I go…only to find that they charge $2.00 for air…and I have no money. So on to the next gas station. Same issue. Now growling and with a bad mood brewing, I head home. Grumbling and cranky and not wanting to do anything now. Bike dropped off and I do a quick jacket change and head out for a run instead. Determined that this isn’t going to stop me from getting back to regular exercising and putting my health back as a priority.
Still trying to keep the mood from going too south, I head out. Aiming for the 5km loop route I start my run and it becomes apparent very quickly that three weeks away from running and 5lbs up is going to be felt today. Muscles aching and starting to make enough internal noise to make my internal monologue hard to shut up, I run.
Same route as always, trying for the same old pace. Nope. Definitely slower today. Trying to just accept that difference and be ok with it.
Sidewalk closures and a small detour and I grumble again as I’m forced off my “usual” and what I had “planned” once again.
As I approach my halfway point where I go down the stairs at the beach access area to get my run rock (again, another story for another time…) I actually growl out loud as I see that this is not going to happen today.
The tide is in far higher than I’ve ever seen it, the stairs are blocked completely, as is any access off the sides, by massive driftwood logs and sticks jumbled up on the beach. The rocky beach is not even visible under the wood and water.
No way I’m getting down there this morning; even if I could navigate the logs without breaking a leg falling off the wet wood, getting a pebble would be impossible under all that.
I’m surprised by how I am quite simply almost in tears at this. I feel like every point this morning I have been slapped with an obstacle and I’m fighting anger and frustration and feeling like maybe I should have just stayed in bed.
Standing there, legs hurting and body aching I look down and see at my feet a little round piece of wood. Not a pebble or rock, but it’ll have to do. The option is to not pick it up. So I pick it up,put it in my pocket like I would do “usually” and turn to run back.
Then it hits me. No, the morning hasn’t at all gone as I planned it to. I wasn’t able to execute my “usual” and get back to the routines as I wanted to. But I had done what I wanted to, on a most base, foundational, level. Just in a different way…and there’s the lesson that the universe was, methodically and repeatedly, trying to help me to see this morning.
Looking forward with a wider view of possibilities and more ways to experience them is a wonderful way to celebrate the Solstice.