It happens every year. And every year I forget.
After summer solstice, I begin a leisurely walk downhill. The slope is gradual. Not something I notice at all. Feels like level ground. So easy.
But after winter solstice, something happens.
I wake up, and look behind me. I see how far, how deep into the valley I’ve walked.
I look ahead, and the path out of the valley seems long, and somehow steeper.
Some people say, “Get out more. Be more social. Use a happy lamp. Get more exercise.”
There’s some truth there. Particularly here in Alaska, it’s dangerous to be naïve about the darkness of winter. Valleys can become seemingly inescapable canyons.
But there’s also something to be said for following the terrain of the seasons, for living like a bear—gorging on summer’s abundance, sleeping through winter’s deprivation.
I really, truly don’t know.
I do know that right now I’m on the uphill path, walking out of the valley into the light.
How about you?
Photo by Gretchen Fitzenrider