Borrego Bear Wallows

"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory."  -Gary Zukav

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter.  It's a day that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas and planning New Year's Eve celebrations, and it's easy to forget this day when it feels like winter started weeks ago.  But it's also a day that can hold deep meaning and significance.  The Winter Solstice is a time for renewal, contemplation, and nourishment.  It's a time to turn inward and to reflect.  It offers an opportunity for creativity and imagination.  It's a time to give thanks and celebrate friendships.  This year more than ever, I have a lot to be thankful for as I gaze at the beautiful face of my 6-week-old daughter, and I greatly appreciate my dear friends who have supported me in my motherhood journey.  The Winter Solstice is also a time for rest and preparation as we get ready to embark on the journey of the new year and save up energy for the obstacles ahead.

Yesterday I practiced contemplation and appreciation of nature while I took the baby and the pooch on a hike along the Borrego Bear Wallows trail.  It was a lovely afternoon with the sun reflecting off the white snow, and the woods were silent except for the sounds of crunching snow and occasional birds and creatures in the trees.  Borrego Bear Wallows was the last hike I did during my pregnancy, one week before Ady was born, and coincidentally, 7 weeks later, it was also her first hike since entering the world.  I often wonder if sounds and voices that Ady heard in utero are familiar to her now, and I talked to her during our hike yesterday about how she already traveled these woods before she was born.  I reflected on our connection to nature and to the past.  While the colors in the woods have changed a lot in 7 weeks, and the fallen leaves have now been replaced with snow, the trees are the same, as are the animals who live here.  

Borrego Bear Wallows hike on October 28th

Kua (before becoming a big sister)

7 weeks later, Kua leading the way for her baby sister

Mom and Ady on our first winter hike

As I experience nature and appreciate all that winter has to offer, I also reflect on the beautiful metamorphosis I have experienced in the past few months from pregnancy to motherhood, and I look forward to the adventures that 2017 has to offer.


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