Finding the Way in the Dark

It’s the solstice. The shortest day of the year. Can metaphors be too apt? Is darkness as a literary device too far beyond cliche’? Probably and probably, but it’s Tuesday, and darkness is what makes today today.

Meghna and I were driving to a trailhead this morning, both of us a little unclear about where we were going, how far we might run, what it might be like, and how it would feel. It’s the season of uncertainty now. Is it a day for running? Is it a day for snow shoes? Should we be skiing? Riding bikes? Resting? Those might all be good choices, good things to do, but the variability of conditions makes it difficult to make hard fast plans more than 24 hours in advance.

I like to think of myself as flexible, as down for whatever, but a lot of the time I’m neither. This is a time for freestyling, if you can wrap your head around that and stay willing to take what they day offers. Because right now, it’s hard to make plans, and it’s hard to have goals. Without goals, it’s harder to stay motivated.

Unless you embrace the (admittedly controlled) chaos and just go with the goddamned flow.

So Meghna and I ran this morning, the trails tamped down firm and a little crunchy on top. Not too bad. She wore spikes. I didn’t. We both did fine. I made her stop somewhere in the middle to take photos of me wearing a pigeon mask, because who cares how fast or how far we went?

A crew of friends is going cross country skiing tonight, with headlamps on.

There’s a warming trend upon us. Rain is coming. The world will be cold, slush soup soon, and maybe we’ll do some road running. Now with puddle hurdling for your wet-socked entertainment!

This is where we are, mounting the studded tires on our mountain bikes and charging our headlamps. Waxing up our skis and looking for our Juicy Fruit. IT’S ICE WORLD!! NO RULES!!! All of us stumbling around in the dark, trying to find our way to the next thing.