Don’t get me wrong, folks, I can get behind moody weather.
In fact, it’s possible I have a college degree in Curling Up on the Couch During a Blizzard. I love a good sweatshirt and a sharp coat. I appreciate an umbrella not only for its practicality, but as a fashion accessory. And while I don’t own a pair, I can spend an impressive amount of time admiring people’s rain boots.
But the amount of rain we’ve had this winter has been, in a word, shocking. Roads are flooded. Signs have disappeared under water. And Cumberland Falls is in danger of just becoming, well, Cumberland.
But, rather than adding to the list of weather-related complaints I’ve been hearing (and have contributed to), I decided that we might do well to stay positive. Stay positive and compliment the sun instead.
Because it’s possible that, up until now, I didn’t appreciate how much I take her for granted. She’s hard to look at, for one. She burns you, for two. And day after day of sunny weather can start to feel surreal, like maybe we’re all on The Truman Show and don’t know it.
But there are some things that just aren’t the same without her.
The beach would be at the top of that list, right? Is there anything better than that first half hour on the beach after you’ve arrived at your travel destination? Winter is behind you, airplanes and long drives are too, you’ve shed your itchy turtleneck and all the needling worries about work.
Now, all that is in front of you is a week’s worth of reading, sand, and sipping fruity cocktails. All of a sudden, a muscly waiter shows up with one and it has a strawberry garnish and it’s pink or purple or orange or some fun color that doesn’t belong in winter. All the while, the sun is there making the water glint and your skin feel warm and golden.
Are you there with me? Can you feel her? Ahhh, that’s the stuff, isn’t it? That beautiful, generous sun.
Then there’s “being outside.” This is an activity that is also far improved by sunny weather, agreed? I recognized this — and I say this only for contrast, not to complain — when I was walking to the grocery store this past weekend and felt that oily, gritty grocery store parking lot water seep into my shoes. It was at that moment, with my glasses covered in droplets and my drenched hair pasted alluringly to my pate, that I really appreciated how easy the sun makes being outside. I mean, she really lets you get it done in the most convenient manner, doesn’t she? It’s easy, it’s efficient, it’s even pleasant.
Same thing with “experiencing joy.” The sun is good for that. Don’t get me wrong, the rain is excellent for making one feel contemplative or, dare I say it?, ruminative. The snow is good for triggering survival instincts and feelings of coziness. But if you want to feel pure, unadulterated joy? Head for the sun, because she’s good at making you feel light, free and happy.
Ditto with “feeling healthy.” For example, in a few hours, I will head outside in the (rare) sunshine and take my dogs for a run. This is an activity that, with rain, wouldn’t be all that possible, in part because my dogs are divas and hate to get wet, and in part because I couldn’t hold them on their leashes and hold an umbrella at the same time. No, if you’re going to get a workout outside, it’s primarily the sun who is going to allow you to get that done. Moreover, she’s going to slap some vitamin D on you for good measure.
And so, as you can see, there are a lot of benefits to sunny weather. This winter, more than any other season, has finally proven this to me. So let’s give her a round of applause, shall we? And hope that triggers her arrival.