YESTERDAY: January’s nearly over and, due to the erratic weather, we hit our beloved sledding hill for the first time all winter. The snow was sparse but slippery enough to get downhill!
TODAY: The kiddo wrestled his coat off through the seatbelt and went bare-armed (against Dad’s grumblings; meanwhile, I’m all “who needs the fight? g’head and test it for yourself”) for the short walk between the car and the building!
In honor of my birthday on August 4th, I vowed to spend time enjoying the people and activities I love: special meals with family; a mini-ice cream party with my son, nieces, and nephew; walking the labyrinth; a midnight birthday meditation; hitting the trail for a run; waking up at 4:30 AM to share my craft on the local news; and bowling with friends! Nearly every one of these last seven days has been a small celebration.
The locus of this joyful beginning: the labyrinth.
I set the intention to walk lovingly, mindfully and gently into my new year with a Sunday morning practice at the labyrinth. I invited friends to join me in this “embodied prayer” to generate the compassionate energy of mindfulness for self-care and social healing.
The small gathering was more than I envisioned! After practice, I was surprised with my favorite home-baked vegan chocolate cake (it’s so yummy…
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I knew I’d have to make peace with winter when I decided to move back to Michigan 10 years ago (from NYC, which in my 9-year stint as a resident, had milder weather. Hands down. The true test: my nose hairs never once sprouted icicles!) As a kid, I loved everything about it. But my intolerance for snow, bitter chill, and grey skies–sometimes from October to April–grew with each year of adulthood. Maybe it’s genetic–my Caribbean roots or my anemia!
So I chose to embrace it rather than to suffer or grumble through the inevitable teeth-chattering and shoulder-scrunching. Warmed by my childhood memories of gliding, stumbling, and laughing with family and friends as we looped around our now-defunct outdoor ice rink for hours on end, I bought ice skates and made weekly visits during the mid-day open skate. I learned to breathe and relax my arms instead of tensing all my muscles in a futile attempt to fold deeper into my goose-prickled skin. I was slowly becoming weather-resilient!
By the time I became a parent, I was committed to making sure my son would be an all-seasons kid. So as long as the temperatures don’t veer toward the danger zone, we bundle up for regular walks and romps in the snow.
Notable winter moments so far:
K got his very own shovel as a gift from his Papa! It was as much a gift for Daddy too since he no longer had to trade turns with K while clearing the walkway.
My Caribbean father, who has lived in Michigan for all but two of the nearly 40 years he’s been residing in the States, went sledding for the very first time in his life! It was a joy to watch K and his Papi make such memories…and a trip to see my dad spend hours editing the video he shot of our sledding adventure that day! #BucketList