This time of year, the days seem so long; they are. The sun barely has a chance to rub the sleep from his eyes before he must ready for bed, yet we never hear a complaint. Efforts to fight off the blues—taking vitamin D and getting outside—sometimes don’t feel like enough. I haven’t seen the sun rise during my sunrise yoga class since late October. But there’s hope.
January is the month of resolving, a time in which we grab pencil and paper and jot down what our resolutions for the new year will be. Most likely, our list includes eating healthier and working out more. I know mine does.
To have lasting resolve, however, the change must come from within. I was sitting in the Missoula airport when the bombings in Paris took place. When I landed five hours later, my Twitter and Facebook feeds mentioned several other tragic world events: the earthquakes in Japan and Mexico and the bombing in Lebanon, among them. The situation in Syria has led to millions of people fleeing their homeland in search of a better life. And we are afraid of one another, overwhelmed with the evil in the world, hopeless. The way to destroy the darkness is to shed light on it with love, kindness and positivity.
Being armed with such weapons is what led to our feature this month on the non-profit Women’s Voices for the Earth, an organization that, for the last 20 years, has been working to remove cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins from everyday products like shampoo, perfume, and baby toys. The three women behind this non-profit, Bryony Schwan who started it, Dori Gilels who led it, and Erin Switalski who leads it, believe change starts at a personal level, and their work seeks to give women a voice in the environmental movement. The results are astounding and encouraging. I look forward to what they’ll do in the next 20 years.
The winter solstice is just behind us; the days are slowly but surely getting longer. The sun is able to dress and run an errand or two before the other stars remind him it’s bedtime. Like the sun, I resolve to get up each day and do what I can—no complaining, either.