As the sun shrinks behinds clouds on the shortest day of the year, my solstice son celebrates his birthday every year by swimming in our pond.  He tests himself against the cold, plunging into icy waters (sometimes literally breaking ice to immerse himself) and rising ready to meet the next year.

He doesn’t linger but he exits laughing then rushes to the house to appreciate warm showers, hot towels, and blazing fires.

Jump into life but prepare for the consequences wisely—not a bad lesson to have learned at 18.

Here he is two years ago with a friend.

And three years ago also.