On pies, soup, and yoga

by Bethany M. Dunbar, November 26, 2011

In the darkest time of the year, we celebrate.

As November settles in, I soon begin to think about December 21.  After that date, the days will stop getting shorter and start to get longer again.

Meanwhile we have Thanksgiving and Christmas to think about.  We celebrate our family and friends and buy or make gifts for each other.

One way to celebrate and be thankful is to help others.  The Center for an Agricultural Economy does this by taking extra squash grown by High Mowing Seeds, pureed by Pete’s Greens, and making it into soup and pies for food shelves, schools, and nursing homes.

Last week I went to the Sterling College kitchen to do a story for the Chronicle and a video for the Chronicle’s web site.  Check it out at www.bartonchronicle.com.

Another way to get through the dark times is to take care of yourself with yoga.  I started taking yoga classes from my friend Bethany Knight this past summer at IROC.  I found it to be a tremendous help for what has become chronic lower back pain.  This might have SOMETHING to do with sitting in front of a computer for so many hours each day.

Plus it must be said that it’s just not as easy to maintain flexibility as we age.

Yoga is incredibly relaxing and invigorating depending on which way you breathe, and Bethany Knight is an excellent teacher who encourages everyone without making anyone feel like a failure for not being able to manage all the hardest moves right away.

I started thinking how nice it would be to have a DVD to do yoga at home, and I asked her if she had one for sale.  She said she didn’t, but people had been asking her for one.  She had been thinking about trying to put one together.  I suggested she and I could make a video and give it to IROC as a fund-raiser.

So we did!  The DVD is available at the IROC front desk.  There’s an idea for a Christmas present that won’t cost much, will help a good cause, and will help whoever uses it with holiday and winter stress at the same time.

I did something else to be thankful for on Thursday.  It’s become a holiday tradition for me — the Turkey Trot in Barton.  This was the tenth annual race.  I’m working on a story about the race for this week’s Chronicle.

Among the participants was Phil White, the executive director of IROC who has done so much to keep the place going.  It was his very first race.  Quite an accomplishment.  Congratulations!

The days are wicked short right now, but there’s beauty to be enjoyed and appreciated in the low light.

Sunrise in the swamp. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

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