Winter Solstice in New South Wales

Like Tony’s, the weather in my part of Australia was divine today. We started cold at -2C but made it to 16C. Of course, I was inside working. But I was determined to get in a solstice ride.

When I was at university, I rode with a group of mountain bike guys. We rode most nights for several hours –  jumping up, over, down or across any obstacle we could find around town. On the solstices and equinoxes, we would meet up about 9pm and then ride through the night until the next morning. Then we would ride up to a hogback ridge that overlooked town and watch the sun come up. The guys would all drink spirits and smoke various things in celebration of the occasion (I always had to be at work at 6.30am, so I couldn’t partake and missed the winter sunrises). Those quarterly rides are one of my great memories of that time in my life.

So I needed to mark this occasion. The winter solstice this year is also symbolic for me. It was just a few days before the summer solstice that I got really unwell. I am now getting closer to a diagnosis – just one more test and a specialist to go. So this solstice to me symbolises ‘coming into the light’, healing and slowly getting better, just as the daylight minutes and hours gradually return, too.

I had dinner plans with my cycling friend, Don, who is, himself, just emerging from a dark period emotionally. I was to pick him up at 5.45pm, though, so this meant I wouldn’t be able to do my normal 22 km ride. While we had a wonderful dinner and I was delighted to see him sounding good again, it did mean I had to rush the ride.

So I decided I would do my short river route, and wherever I was right at sunset, I would get a photo. (I thought I would end up next to the dirt speedway – not particularly photogenic – but luckily I got a little further).

I didn’t have time for a river float for the guys to celebrate, nor even time to take more than one photo. So I present a photo of the guys and me just metres away from the Murray River at exactly 5.08 pm as the sun set on the shortest day of the year. Amazingly, my odometer read exactly 13.00 kms when I got home – 13 is a lucky number for me, so I hope it is a good omen for the ‘coming of the light’.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

6 response to "Winter Solstice in New South Wales"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 21, 2018

    Happy you got out for your winter solstice ride, which is today for us, and yesterday for you — something about the International Date Line and all that!
    I dont suppose you would be interested in providing our Lottery numbers — since its tomorrow for you when we still dont know what they are here. 😉

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: June 23, 2018

    Ah, Rich – at the time of this photo, you were actually on the same day as us. 5.06pm here is 3.06am in New York on the same day. Sorry I didn’t get back to you on the lottery numbers. I’m pretty sure that the number 42 came up somewhere in the world in some lotto comp on that day 😉

  3. By: Seasidejanet Posted: June 23, 2018

    13 seems to be my lucky number too! Hope you get your diagnosis soon so you know what/how to move forward…..

    • By: The Navigator Posted: June 24, 2018

      Thanks, Janet. Some high rise buildings have cheaper apts on the 13th floor – I would never live in a high rise, but I’d certainly take that discount if I wanted to live in a city!

  4. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: June 24, 2018

    You certainly look well Emily. Now to get as well internally to match the external. I like the idea of gradual improvement as the days lengthen – it seems powerful.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: June 24, 2018

      Thanks, Tony. The only bad thing about not looking like death all the time is that now I hear rumours that some people at work think I’m just making things up. Sheesh. I still feel pretty cruddy almost all the time. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I still just want to sleep ALL the time. My mitochondria need a kick up the….. I am grateful though I can still ride, even if it is not far, fast or mountainous.

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