This world. This place. This life.

Downhill, and up again


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



5 thoughts on “Downhill, and up again

  1. Keep on walking!

  2. Hmmm. It’s kind of like a metaphor for depression or mood swings. Some days, that walk seems like no big deal – easy, even. Other days, it seems more dangerous – like there’s no way you can manage it. Glad you are on your way into the light.

  3. For most of my life I have experienced what people call “the winter blues”. What I notice now in my 55th year is, I am more conscious of this shift and it doesn’t last as long. Prayer and meditation truly help lift me into the Light. While the outer darkness effects me, it is the Inner Light that sustains me. Keep up the persistant uphill climb. It’s worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s