Today I went for a winter hike.
January is my least favorite month and leaves me feeling stiff, tired, and like I just want to burst out of my skin. This is how I know there’s something for me to learn about myself during this time. Because it’s so extremely uneasy for me in January.
This morning was a particularly challenging one for me. It’s been cold and windy but I saw the sun peeking through the clouds and it felt like it was there just for me. So, I went for a winter hike. On the way to the trail, you have to walk down a hilly road. It was abruptly a sheet of ice. I don’t know why I was so surprised by this, but I was.
Walking toward me was a woman with her country skies on who smiled and declared that she was heading back because she didn’t want to risk falling on “her old bones”. I smiled and vowed to proceed with caution.
Further ahead was a group of kids who spend the day outside exploring and having fun in the snow. They were sliding down the icy road laughing and falling as they trekked back to the top of the road to do it again and again. I found myself caught between caution and the joy that comes with youth and the opportunity for fun.
Maybe this is what January is. Being caught between the promise of warmth and the not-so-distant smell of fallen leaves and perfect autumn days. It is the unknown that is a mystery in January. I’m working towards releasing the immobility and exhaustion that January can bring.
January feels like one giant liminal vortex that will never end. But it’s in the liminal that we have the opportunity to shift, hear, and release and find ways to catch the stillness.
In that way, maybe January is one of the most magical months of all…