I’ve been anticipating it all winter, and after weeks and weeks of clear skies and uselessly cold days, it finally happened. We awoke to the clean, refreshing stillness that only a heavy snowfall can bring. We ventured out, hiking aimlessly through the woods together in tranquil silence, taking it all in. I saw my home in a new light, a new energy. The contrast of the red rocks peeking through the fresh powder reinforced a universal truth: mountains are better with snow.
The temperatures are steadily dropping out here in Colorado, and I’m loving every second of it. Snow, candles, and snuggling are on the top of my list this time of year. Last weekend, Norah, Molly and I welcomed winter early with a scenic snowy hike, followed by a mug of hot rosemary cider.
Yesterday was the solstice. The longest night of the year, the beginning of winter. Since I had a full day of clients, I’d been wondering how I was going to celebrate. As fate would have it, I happened to stumble upon a local yoga class honoring the winter solstice in Manitou Springs last night. Of course, I had to check it out. The sequence emphasized alignment, as well the balance between light and darkness as we begin to move toward the sun. The class ended with live music, expressive dancing and a crystal/water ceremony. It was an unusual, freeing, beautiful way to honor the solstice.
How did you celebrate?
I felt like a queen this weekend. Why? Could’ve been the castle.
After a winding drive through the mountains, a gap in the pines revealed Bishop Castle, a towering structure of metal and stone, dragon included, of course. I abandoned my fear of heights for the day and climbed the delicate spiral staircases, to the top of the world, it seemed. I became enchanted with this mysterious place. It was right out of a fairytale. After a cold day of romping around the mountains, still in my fairytale-castle-mindset, all I wanted was a warm bubble bath… & while self-care is about so much more than “pampering”, I think it’s necessary to indulge every now and then. Everything in moderation, right?
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When do you feel most at home? For me, it’s right around this time of year, no matter where I am. Moving around so much the past five years or so, I associate so many places, and people, with “home”. When autumn hits, I want to surround myself with people I love, and this year my heart is so full. After my cousin came to stay with us in September, Luke and I visited North Carolina for a wedding. We got to reconnect with friends and family and revisit Asheville, the place where we met, on the same week, two years ago. Autumn makes me feel at home, even when my heart is torn between so many places. Little fall traditions remind me of childhood, of warmth, of magic, of home. This past week was perfect for that, and it was the perfect for my self-care. Revisiting some of my favorite places and people, hanging in our hammocks beneath giant oak trees, hiking and collecting fall wildflowers in the rain, and seeing my rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in their glowing autumnal beauty.
It has been amazing to catch some of the peak colors of Carolina and Colorado, both so unique and beautiful in their own way.
No place like home…
The sun wakes me up a couple of hours later than it used to. I’m still astonished every morning to open my eyes and see Pike’s Peak looking down on me from outside the bedroom window. Everything is new.
Newness can feel daunting. It presents challenges, demands acclimation, and evokes uncertainty. It also offers fresh perspective, expanding knowledge, and beautiful, towering surprises. I turn a corner to find mountains before me. Looking up has never been more enthralling, or more often. Although, even in the grasp of change and newness, we still have our rituals, our traditions. Something to help us feel that we are staying the course, still on track. Clouds followed as our dog, Molly, led me through pathways and trails unfamiliar to us. Red rocks, waterfalls, flowers, and even more clouds surrounded as we breathed in our new atmosphere.
I crave exploration. I yearn for adventure. I needed this for my own self-care. Of course I have so many people who are close to my heart, yet now so far in distance. My love for them does not falter based on the location of my freshest footprints. I want to see more. I want to learn. I was drawn to this transition. Maybe it was to show those who are feeling stagnant how realistic such a seemingly drastic change can be. Maybe it’s okay to follow your heart, even if you’re not sure where it’s leading you.
Grow. Blossom. Bloom.