The Dark Season

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My boss handed me her “Happy Light” today and told me to use it while she was out. “It works,” she said. “It’s already making me feel better.” The darkness in Michigan starts to take its toll around this time of year. It gets increasingly worse for awhile even though the days are getting longer. The winter here is usually dreary and cold. We are lucky this year. We had sunshine all weekend, and we are still snowless.

Today’s practice was called Surya which means “the sun” in Sanskrit. We did sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) opening our hearts to the sun as we rose and fell in a bow. The sun was long gone by the time I took my bows. Only the wind, cold and darkness lingered outside. But I felt better getting my blood moving, stretching my joints and thinking of that happy light.

My acupuncturist recommends I come about every three weeks this time of year. I drag myself to the gym under the cover of darkness. Sometimes my workout feels like a dream by the time I drive to work in the sunrise. Walking my dog at 7 PM under the stars requires bundling up and a strong resolve to please those sad eyes begging me to take her out. Running requires a herculean effort. When I get one in, I feel like a freaking rock star.

I’m enjoying my belated Christmas tree and it’s twinkly lights. It lifts my spirits and reminds me of the best part of this season. Holiday lights remain up for many months as people walk around in the snow and enjoy a more hygge-style of life. Hot chocolate, warm soups, blankets, spicy chai tea, cozy scarves and long, lazy nights present opportunities to rest and sloooooow down. Even though I may feel down at times, I love the naturally slow rhythm of the winter. There will be plenty of time for rushing around in summer.

I didn’t turn on the happy light. I had a bunch of stuff going on and never got to sit at my desk the rest of the afternoon. But I got to cook a big pot of beans and a nice supper. I had time to do yoga and write, and I’ll bundle up and take my girl for her one-mile walk under the stars. All that, and I’ll still get to bed in time to finish my Runner’s World magazine. If I can’t run, then I can dream about it.

Night, y’all! Stop fighting this slower time and enjoy it. We don’t have to be going nonstop all the time.

8 comments on “The Dark Season”

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