Solstice traditions

On New Year’s day of 2003 I watched the sun rise as I waited for the start of the resolution run. And in the evening I watched the sun set from the top of Rocky Pine Ridge.

It was a lovely sunset.

Later I realized that I had watched the sun rise and set on the same day, something I don’t normally do.

So when the next year rolled around (or perhaps the one after that), I decided this was something I wanted to repeat.

I’m rather proud of what I did in 2006/7 when I decided to do a hike up to the top of Cathedral Peak to watch the sunset on New Year’s eve of 2006, and then another hike to watch the sun rise on New Year’s morning of 2007. It seemed very symbolic to watch the sun set on the old year and rise on the new. (it helped that that year the resolution run was held a day (or two?) early because the city would not give us permits for new year’s day).

However getting up in the cold and dark so I could hike (in the colder, windier dark) up to Cathedral Peak to watch the sun rise proved a challenge I have not repeated. And the custom has faded back to what I started with: watching the sun rise from the Resolution run, and doing a hike in the evening.

But that year I also started going out on the day of the winter solstice, just to Hendry’s beach (’round the corner from my house, so it’s easier to get to) to watch the sun rise, and back later to watch it set. And so far, I’ve been able to repeat that.

Today was cloudy. A solid grey overcast which turned sea and land to grey also.

But then the pelicans came out to play on the waves (which were quite large for SB).

Am I wrong to use the word play? They were not fishing. They were not mating. They were not resting. They were doing things which would make human joyful. Animals do play. I think the word is appropriate. Those pelicans were out there having fun, playing at the edge of the waves. Surfing the air.

Yoga has its traditions

In class, my yoga teacher mentioned that the proper way to greet the solstice was to do 108 sun salutations (type “A”). But we proceeded to prepare for, and do scorpion instead. So when I got home, I unrolled my yoga mat and did 108 sun salutations on my own.

Why 108? Do traditions need a reason? If you google “108 sun salutations” you will get many answers. Which seem to me to boil down to “because 108 is a sacred number”. Which boils down further to “because.”


It did not rain, and the clouds actually broke a bit allowing some light and color into the sky.


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