I'm gonna move - to Taos, New Mexico. Oh, wait, that was just a wishful dream. When you live in a place that boasts 2 of the wettest months ever on record within the last year, and both of those months have been in the winter when the average day brings only 8 hourse of daylight and 16 hours of darkness, what else should one hope for? The temperature ranges from a 35 degree low to a 45 degree high. Not really cold enough for the thrill of snow, and not warm enough for much else. The constant forecast is partly cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Most days I live in smartwools, polar fleece, and a hat.
December 21st brought the winter solstice which means a gradual 6-month increase in daylight hours. Then Christmas happened and we went on vacation. Probably the best way to sum up vacation would be to link you to my getnout buddy's post to see the photographs. I'd have to say the highlights for me were: skiing up Thompson Ridge, learning and loving skate skis, seeing the glorious pink sunrises light up the sky and the hills across the valley from the cabin every morning, snowshoeing up to the top of Patterson Mountain - it was like being on top of the world, and the peacefulness of my solo showshoe through the cemetery down the road.
Running? Did I do that? Not really unless you count chasing my husband 1,000 ft. straight down Patterson Mtn. through 3 feet of snow, wearing snowshoes. It was sorta like trail running and I laughed most of the way down. Since December 24th, my only run has been Wednesday (2 days ago). I had to force the Wednesday run - all 3.6 miles of it - the missing .4 mile was when I decided it was much more enjoyable to walk along the beach and track the waves from the passing tanker as they started way out in the bay and finally crashed on shore.
I feel compelled to discuss the new year because - well, it's a new year - at least until Chinese New Year February 18th - and then it's all sort of confusing. My year has begun in sort of an awkard way. I rely a lot on technology in my life. My special order 'hard to find' earphones for my ipod have broken, our stereo isn't working very well, and my computer crashes right now after about 5 minutes of having any browser or any document open. No itunes, no net surfing, no blogging unless I am quick or hijack my husband's laptop. Life is quieter without music. Part of me wonders if it's like a message to me to focus on the quiet and solitude and theat there is something for me to learn there. I've been really into books on naturalists lately. I'm currently reading a book I borrowed from a friend on John Muir (a huge idol of mine since I was about 12 years old). I have another book that I had on reserve from the library - Silence and Solitude: Yellowstone's Winter Wilderness by Tom Murphy. The photos leave me in true amazement. It's ironic that at a time when I'm focusing on solitude, simplicity, and nature, that all of my technology toys should break.
I've long been pondering the idea of what to be when I grow up and find myself with an internal struggle for the current time in my life. I have a love of running - of the drive, the power, the endorphins, the struggle, the sweat, the goals, the times . . . I have a passion for nature - for reading and writing about it, but moreso for existing in it, and photographing it to freeze the moment for eternity - to always enjoy the beauty and peace from that given moment.
I love both of these things, but I feel that in my world, they are opposite extremes, and if I lean too far one direction, I'll lose the other. Thus, I sit in the middle and don't give my whole self to either one. I feel like if I go crazy and really train to my ability that I'll lose the passive side of myself - the nature lover. And I feel that if I relax and take time capturing the stillness of nature, that I'll slow down too much and lose sight of the ambitions of running. I know these thoughts might seem illogical - but they're how I feel. My resolutions for the new year are to find a balance somewhere within myself and allow myself to live all of what I love, right from the heart, every single day.
And I want to learn to play chess . . it's a long story with my daughter - sort of a deal someone suggested we make - that if she learned to type on a qwerty keyboard with proper finger positions instead of the hunt and peck method, then I would finally learn to play a game that she loves.