Countdown to the the Solstice

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The dark, cold, windy days of November and December are hard to love.  I crave the light, and these days that keep getting shorter and shorter are a true test of my resolve to live in the moment.    I count the days until the winter solstice, when – hallelujah! – the light will start its blessed return to the northern hemisphere.  Instead of “being here now” I retreat in my mind to a rock ledge in a red rock canyon, listening to the flute-like cascading song of a canyon wren while I sip my morning coffee and plan the day’s excursion.  Instead of gray and brown and white, I’m surrounded by red and green and blue, and the rising sun is warm on my face.      My desert retreats are real places, too…places I’m planning to return to, just as soon as I can:

Near Bannister Ruin, Grand Gulch, Utah.  See the ledge in the middle of the photo? That's where I sit.

Near Bannister Ruin, Grand Gulch, Utah. See the ledge in the middle of the photo? That’s where I sit.

Or here, right below the ruin...

Or here, right below the ruin…

Or here, still in Grand Gulch but below the Narrows...

Or here, still in Grand Gulch but below the Narrows…

Or here, below Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch...

Or here, below Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch…

Or on top of Cedar Mesa with a storm rolling in.

Or on top of Cedar Mesa with a storm rolling in.

OR… I’m sipping an evening bourbon high in a mountain meadow on a warm summer evening…just sitting, and watching.

Scapegoat Wilderness, Montana

Scapegoat Wilderness, Montana

Or in the Elkhorn Mountains...

Or in the Elkhorn Mountains…

Or high in the Crazy Mountains...

Or high in the Crazy Mountains…

Or in the Pintler Mountains.

Or in the Pintler Mountains.

Sigh.   No, not sigh.    It’s all good, and this little exercise has helped.   Now I’ll go enjoy the day.

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Hiking, Life, Nature, Outdoors and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Countdown to the the Solstice

  1. lylekrahn says:

    There’s just something special about red rock – thanks for reminding me.

  2. 7feetnorth says:

    Beautiful! What amazing places!

  3. roberta4949 says:

    very nice places there, beautiful scenery.

  4. Kyle Kuns says:

    I’m with you, can’t wait for the days to start getting longer!

  5. Janet says:

    Yep, I agree. Memories are great and keep me going through the long winter. Great photos.

  6. Oh man, I now have a desperate need to go out in the wild and camp. Log fires, roasted marshmallows… damnit! Must do it!

  7. Oh, wow, I just noticed you got Freshly Pressed! Congratulations! Very well deserved. I love this post, and the sentiment, and all the lovely photos. I’m ready to leave when you are . . . (Though I have to admit, down here in Texas, when it’s 81 degrees in December, I actually long for days that dark, cold, and gloomy.)

    • westerner54 says:

      Wish I could send you a day like today, then – windy, gray, and just not very nice. But I know what you mean; I just need to do a better job of embracing the changing season. Wasn’t too good at the embracing thing today, though. (The Freshly Pressed thing actually happened ages ago – last February, maybe? – but I just figured out that you could put that little logo on the sidebar. Little slow on the uptake. But thanks for the congrats!)

  8. We’ve been keeping hope for the Solstice, too! Only a matter of weeks left until the days start getting longer again and we can look forward to another year in the sun.

  9. I can’t wait for the solstice. Love the red rocks and that shot of the Crazy Mountains.

  10. AlisaG says:

    Coyote gulch is one of my favorite places on earth. It pulls at my heart to see pictures of it. It’s been years since I was on that side of Lake Powell…must return soon. 🙂 the solstice coming, from one light lover to another…it is the promise of the seasons.

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