Happy Solstice

wintersolstice13

Today I watched the sun rise and set on the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. For a sunlover like myself, It’s a day worth celebrating, as it marks the glorious shift towards lengthening days. Here in New York City, winter kicked off at a balmy 62 degrees Fahrenheit. So, determined to spend some quality time in the briefest day, I donned my shorts and sneakers and went for a run from Red Hook up through the waterfront park, past the three bridges Manhattan/Brooklyn bridges. Since I moved into my place in August, I’ve been enjoying witnessing the Brooklyn Bridge Park transform during the impressive expansion project. I’m grateful to have such an incredible public park to exercise in and I have been trying to take advantage of it (and unseasonably warm weather) every chance I get. Running in this place is my one of my primary defenses against physical and mental ailment.

This year I have more than light to celebrate. I completed my first semester of graduate school this week. It was a challenging four months, during which I hustled to attend to matters of school, work, love, life, and death in a city that is at times less than hospitable. But the things I’ve learned and the relationships I’ve cultivated here have all been well worth the effort and I feel fortunate to be able to call this place home for a while. Needless to say I did not manage to make much time to post, but I have been documenting my No Trash trials and victories and I look forward to having some time between semesters to share some of my projects and discoveries.

laundrydays

Through the hectic, often sleep deprived weeks I somehow managed to stay healthy, even when friends around me were falling ill with flus, colds, and bugs. I’ve wondered if the reason I’ve managed to dodge these ailments so far this season has anything to do with the fact that I was able to come home from work and school to my sleepy Red Hook hideaway, where I’ve been able to establish some sense of order and routine. For instance, being able to wash and dry clothes in my own home may seem like a small privilege, but it’s increased my ability to function efficiently during an occasionally tricky adjustment period. Endless thanks to my best friend who helped me heave my beloved energy efficient washing machine, which I purchased used from a refurbished appliance supplier in Cranston RI, up two flights of stairs into my tiny kitchen. Line drying in my sunny front room humidifies my whole apartment and helps me breathe easier on dry days. Making time to cook most of my meals at home (which I have learned is uncommon practice in NYC) and take leftovers to school to fuel long days of class and study sessions also helped me stay well. And drinking down homemade fire cider to fortify my immunity was also a part of the equation. Stay tuned for a recipe post.

Looking ahead, there are still a lot of No Trash Project elements to fine tune here in NYC. Like the worm bin improvement operation I have been scheming on. But so far I am really enjoying all things new to me here in this great metropolis. To all of my readers who are still with me: Happy Solstice. Here’s to sunlight and health.

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6 Responses to Happy Solstice

  1. Firefly December 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Thank-you for posting again! I discovered your blog a month ago and have read it from beginning to end. Your writing is wonderful and your lifestyle is inspiring. I have just started my journey to a “no trash” lifestyle and have found your blog entertaining and very helpful. The hardest part is getting my family of four to comply. Oh well, maybe one day these baby steps will pay off. Looking forward to your next post as we dig out from our first ice storm of the season.

  2. Cocomama December 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Cheers & congratulations on your first semester. Have a wonderful winter break!

  3. Janel December 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Congratulations on staying healthy during your first semester! I’m so happy you were able to post an update! I love pictures of your clothesline…makes me feel so not all alone in this! Happy Holidays! Janel in NJ

  4. Bee December 24, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    How uplifting to hear of your new efforts! I always enjoy reading about what you’re up to. Can’t wait to get the fire cider recipe :) I just celebrated the solstice too, and am looking forward to a new year of dreams and schemes. xoxo

  5. Robin February 4, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    I have the same experience as Firefly, and have recently caught up with what you’ve posted on your blog. I find your lifestyle inspiring. I have been reading various blogs, and have slowly been adjusting my own life to be more minimalist and to consume less products. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I really do appreciate the research and effort you put into your blog posts.

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