Outdoor Diary: Understanding the Power of Light by Heading Outside

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Humans outside episode 311

The solstice – winter or summer – offers a time to pause in appreciation of what the light brings. And while it also feels like an acknowledgement of what is leaving or no longer present, there’s plenty of good to be found outside in the world and inside ourselves and the other humans around us.

So how am I celebrating the light? Listen now.

Some of the good stuff:

[:35] Solstice and what it didn’t mean

[1:18] Solstice is always a positive even if that takes work

[1:48] How the light inspires me right now

[2:30] What following the light helps me do

[3:08] Hunting for the good

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

Solstice. Until we moved up here to Alaska I not only didn’t really think about what the Solstice is, I most definitely never stopped to think about how it impacts me. The first day of winter or summer — so what?

But when you live far north where that light dramatically comes, creating the land of the midnight sun, and then dramatically goes away, leading to short days where the darkness can hang so heavy, you definitely think about it. Light, you quickly learn, feels like life. And you never take it for granted.

Solstice is always a positive for me, focused on the presence of light. In the winter, the solstice is the darkest day of the year, a turning of a corner — we made it, and now we’re headed out of the darkest time and into days of light. In the summer, despite the solstice marking the longest day of light and you knowing that really it just gets darker daily from here, the solstice is again a positive for me. It is a celebration of all the life and internal light brought by the physical light in the sky. Thanks for being here, daylight. I appreciate you. And because of you I appreciate me.

It’s been a dreary sort of year with lots of clouds and rain, and still the solstice of summer inspires me. I am taking time for daily adventures, or at least spending lots of time outside on various tasks. I am trying to take time for recreation focused recess, not just outdoor work. And I sit at my desk when I am inside, and gaze on the light outside filled with gratitude.

And we are traveling- oh yes we traveling. As you hear this my family and I are probably out on another adventure exploring this beautiful place we call home. We are on the road so much right now that when I am home, I am grateful for the running water and comparative calm.

One of the gifts of my outdoor time all year round, regardless of how light it is or isnt, is the way I feel just being in nature increase the light within me. Maybe that sounds too froo froo, but even in the darkest days understanding the pattern of light and how it hits on my face or on the trees — high in the summer and low low low in the winter — makes me appreciate it and understand its impact and driving force more than I did when my life focused on indoor things.

And it’s more than just physical light — it’s also the light of positivity, gratitude and optimism. It’s not that I don’t want to think about the fact that the weather has sucked or that I am annoyed that it’s not warm like it’s quote unquote supposed to be. It’s that the light inspires me to focus on the good, to hunt for the things I love, to push through and overcome. Following this physical light helps me pursue the metaphysical kind.

The longest day of the year may be behind me as I’m recording this, but it’s never to late to stand in gratitude for the light of all types — the light in the sky, the light it gives me internally and even the light brought by other humans. I can hunt for the good and hold onto it tightly.

You can see photos of how we’re doing that at HumansOutside Facebook and Instagram, and share your photos with me of your adventures by tagging #humansoutside365. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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