We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
2014 ended with some wild swings of the weather pendulum–each one carrying with it its own seasonality, memories, and sense of place. Late autumn brought an early winter, with temps in the 10s and 20s and snow through late November; the week of Christmas, by contrast, saw rain that stripped away much of our snowpack, and in the Boston area where we visited over the holiday, late December sun and temperatures of nearly 60 degrees.
The New Year now sweeps us along a blustery wind that has burnished the frozen landscape to a mirrored icy sheen.
My social media feeds have lately resonated with a chorus of resolutions, reflections, and predictions, and many of us seek a regrounding or reinventing at this natural transition from darkness of the winter solstice to the brighter days of winter and spring.
January is something of a milestone for the Climate Run project–6 months until the Kjölur Run across Iceland; 23 training weeks–a plan for more than a thousand miles of running, 40 days each of cross training and nordic skiing; and maybe even a rest day or two!
It’s hard not to look ahead at what I have planned for 2015 (not without a little anxiety, to be sure : ), though I’m taken by Anne Hillman’s poem–and Parker Palmer’s weekly column that it anchors–to think less in terms of absolutes and quantitative milestones and more about the how and why of why I choose to do the things I do.
Too often, perhaps, running–like so much of what we do–is measured in quantities of miles, kilometers, minutes, hours, vertical gain, heart rate, and so on. All these measures are important to help meet training and race goals, to be sure, but what good is it to chase a number if has lost its meaning when I finally reach it?
It has helped me lately to think about choices in terms of intentions rather than goals:
What do I hope to achieve by reaching my goal?
Why choose this particular path?
How will it affect me and those around me?
What are your intentions for this new year?