Dean Taylor (left) readies the participants for this year’s Almost Winter Solstice Headlamp Five Mile Run. (photo by Ruth Taylor)

Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice? Most folks who partake in the more secular aspects of the Christmas season in essence do celebrate the Solstice in one way or another. For me, this time of year is usually a deeply reflective time. In fact, when the Solstice arrives with its promise of more daylight each day forward (until the Summer Solstice), it represents the new year to me. It is a time to contemplate new dreams-new hopes-new goals-a new start. In essence, the Winter Solstice to me is New Years Day. January 1st for me is pretty much just another day. It has been for years now for me.I don’t usher the new calendar year, or kiss-off the old one with a night of excessive drink, song, and festivities. I usually just kick back with a glass of wine and a good read-after a good dinner of course.  And New Year’s Day? I go for a run of course-like most days when I am not hiking.

And that’s how I celebrate the Winter Solstice too-with a run, hike, or snowshoe. Something healthy and outdoorsy–a reinforcement to what really matters to me. And friends and family and community too. This year I along with a handful of my Skagit Runners friends partook in a Five Mile headlamp run on the night of December 21 at the Northern State Recreation Area to celebrate the solstice, running, and friendships. Thanks to Dean Taylor for putting it together. And thanks to Ruth Taylor for documenting it with wonderful photography. And thanks to the handful of old friends and new friends who braved the dark and dreary weather and had a blast running over the fields and through the snow to another year. Happy Winter Solstice everyone. Here comes the sun!

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