It’s that dead, dark cold of winter. The tires on the truck squeal in the new dusting of snow and the wind is whipping the loose flakes into mini-tornadoes around the dancing trees.
I was looking through my photos and that lead to reflecting on how solitude changes with the seasons.
In summer, I usually spend my free days riding in the morning before the sun heats up the day. A quick trip home to pack snacks and boats and I am off to a lake or pond for the afternoon.
It doesn’t matter if I am alone or with another, the sense of calm and the serenity of the water create a place of solitude.
So back to this winter and how one attains the same sense of peace and calm. My escape in the dark months involves many more clothes. To be able to really let go and enjoy the woods in winter, you have to be warm. Moving quietly on snow shoes helps raise your core temperature, but fingers and toes, faces and ears all need extra layers. While summer is about the vanity of sun-kissed skin and thin fluid clothes, winter is about movement while laboring under layers.
I have taken several dog-sledding trips through the years in Northern Maine. The guides insist on providing the gear as they know how to balance warmth with mobility. One year the temperature rarely got above minus 20 degrees. I remember stepping off the trail to find a “loo” and sinking in to my waist in powder. I waded to the nearest large tree and just stopped for a moment to see if I could experience what the wildlife see, smell, and hear. The denseness of the solitude was palpable.
|Dogsledding in Maine|
I encourage everyone to choose solitude to whatever degree you can every chance you get.
|Hanni on the cliffs of Negril|