Winters, for me, have always been a practice in hibernation. Not in the most literal sense, and I haven’t always seen things this way, but as my time here continues to unfold and my views and values continue to evolve, it’s easy to see how the seasons affect many changes in my life. My food, sleep, work, my mobility, my drive, and so much more, all are grounded and shaped by the colder months, where and how I spend them. This year marks the ninth winter season I’ve come to Alta, Utah. Each of these seasons has seen progression, regression, evolution and expansion. I’ve loved, learned, limped, and continued to move forward. While I’ve never had a vehicle with me for any of my winters here, it’s only been since 2008 that I haven’t owned a car year round, and only in the last two years that I’ve truly embraced the bike. This season makes the second winter of Nature of Motion, and it’s interesting to see the hint of a pattern here. Winter is truly a time for introversion, a time for reflection and renewal. As I look back, look forward, and look inward, I continue to notice new things, re-connect with the familiar, and find my creative spark to progress. It’s easy to look to the side of the screen and see the pattern, the abundance of posts and activity in the summer months, and the scarcity in the winter. Granted, there’s been a lot more than just my change in transportation in these last few years, but I think that reflects a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. Recently, I’ve been thinking and journaling a lot about this topic, this sort of seasonality and localism that plays on my life each winter. March is usually when I start to wake up and dig myself out from the haze of the winter, it’s also the month of my birth, so it’s a pretty appropriate time to be reflecting inward on my progress and position. A little over a year ago I wrote a piece on this subject entitled A Case for Place. Here now with a year gone by and I find myself in the same place, thinking along the same lines. But what do I have to add? What have I learned or how have a grown? I find it helpful to look back first, to gain some of this perspective of time and place, so before I spewed out all the nonsense below I took a minute to read the original piece, if you’ve got a minute, and think it’d help you too, check it out here. Enjoy.
Each day I wake up, unable to sleep, yet hesitant to leave the warmth, I lay and recall my dreams until I cannot see any more. Shuffling down the hallway, cracks of light escape from beneath a few doors, the rest lie dark and silent. Outside, I step along the balcony to the small room with the large mirror. On my mat I stand, and bend, and lie in awkward positions as my muscles slowly lengthen. Beads of sweat break out on my forehead despite my lack of movement, my breath courses slow and deep through my nose. I am alone, my mind is never silent unless I find it that way, when again it is surprised into thought. Each day is lived as it comes, not necessarily in the moment but without thinking much of the before or after. My forecast is a look out the window, feeling the air on my face. My schedule is always the same; work, ski, at once. When I come here, or to the pages in my journal, my mind wanders, looking at pictures of my own I am taken back, memories and emotions tingle at the base of my spine. Talking with friends, scheming, planning, I look forward and see the future, not as it is or as it will be, but how it exists now in my mind. Ideas are coming to life once more as the sun returns and the reality of melting snow, warm stone, and open roads grows closer. The words are on the tip of my tongue, the spark of creativity once more slowly catching hold of the connections that have been made over the last few months.