Winter Nights for Walking in Wonder

Selected Blog from the Returning to Wonder Series – 2012 to 2017

We may be slowly emerging from another winter of long, dark winter nights but daylight still disappears well before 6pm here in Ireland. The light bulb was a revolutionary invention, allowing us to create artificial daylight by switching on “mini-suns” in our homes and workplaces. The downside is modern society rarely acknowledges or takes into account the different natural rhythms of our annual cycle and our bodies and minds can pay the price – as they are both connected. It is perfectly natural for our form to dip – to sometimes feel down or slightly depressed, especially after the razzmatazz of Christmas has long since faded. The bills keep on arriving while the winter weather and dark evenings refuses to depart.

It can be difficult to find any motivation after a busy day; much easier to switch on the TV after dinner and tune out. But this is the time of year when we can most benefit from a good walk. Walking can slow down our notions of time to a more instinctively acceptable pace and help provide precious space and time for ourselves to think more clearly.

The night has its own wonders to share on a walk in the countryside; a full moon’s light sparkling on the surface of a calm lake; rain shower clouds parting like stage curtains to reveal a sky teeming with stars; the delight of observing the split-second flash and tracer of a shooting star; the elemental rasping bark of a fox.

The good news is that spring is just around the corner. Until then, I guarantee that you will feel more refreshed after making the effort to go on a late evening walk. It’s actually safer to go out in complete darkness, than during the twilight hour. Just remember to wear a high visibility vest on, so that cars and other vehicles can see you much more clearly. Wrap up warm clothing and venture forth with a sure step and renewed wonder in the wintertime!

The Returning to Wonder continues…