I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love lights.
By Heidi S.
When I had lived here for a grand total of three months, I called the Fort Snelling State Park office to see if they were still going to hold the New Year's Eve candlelight walk because the forecast called for it to be 10 degrees. Above zero. Hey, I had just moved here from Missouri, so 10 degrees seemed like grounds for possible event cancellation. Now I know!
This is my fourth Minnesota winter, and my first two were pretty rough adjustments. The 2013-2014 winter that Holly described earlier was my second, and after that one I wasn't sure I wanted to do this. For my third winter, I went on the offense, going to the Grease Rag Winter Skill Share (yeah!), learning how to better layer for outdoor activity by jogging on the trail across the street from me, using a light therapy light.
But I learned one of the secrets early, which for me was LIGHTS. Candlelight hikes in state parks, the Luminary Loppet, holiday lights left on in living room windows long past the new year as long as it was still dark early, candles inside for that Scandinavian hygge, disco lights on bike wheels. Anything to brighten and cheer during the long days.
My first Luminary Loppet was a revelation. The memory still feels like magic to me. I had never walked on a frozen lake, and the beauty was uniquely Minnesotan. It couldn't have happened anywhere else I've ever lived in Missouri, Colorado, or New York. I loved everything about it, and as a bonus, I finally achieved my first perfect layering where I felt just right, not too hot and not too cold in the 6 degree weather.
One of the pecha kucha presentations at the Winter Cycling Congress this past week was a beautiful one about light and how it can connect us through the dark. At the end of the presentation, Glenn Kubish turned on the lights on the heart on his shirt. Perfect! How can you not smile at cheery lights in the dark?
That's my secret.
Read about this collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls, or check out last year's #lovemnwinter posts.