Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Sunshine

Columns, Wednesday’s Wondrous World

I know it’s terribly cliché, but given the topic, that’s wholly unavoidable.

When you talk about a wondrous world, certain themes are going to crop up.  And repeat themselves.  There are an immeasurable number of things that are wondrous that we take for granted, and in my explorations of the wondrous world, I am going to point out the obvious from time to time.

But an obvious and cliché wonder is a wonder no less.  And today I am going to talk about sunshine.

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I considered sunrise or sunset specifically, but then thought, no, as a solar powered being, I am going to cut to the chase and get right to sunshine itself.  I’ll save the rising and setting sun for another time.

Why is sunshine a wonder?  Well sunshine supports life.  Scientifically, we know that plants need sunshine and we need vitamin D from sunlight, as well as other nutrients for our skin (of course in moderation.  Too much unprotected exposure to the sun is unhealthy).  Sunlight is a known cure for certain issues like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression.  The sun sets the cycles of the animals of this planet, and gives us warmth.

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I know that during a long winter of too many grey skies and colder days, there is NOTHING quite like that first Spring day when the temperature is comfortable, the wind is calm, the sky is blue and the sun is shining down.  I love that sensation of standing outside, face turned towards the sun, feeling its true warmth for the first time in months.

I know that some people are huge fans of winter and the grey and the cloudy skies.  To each their own.  But sunshine is a wonder, even if you are not as big a fan of it as I am.

It is easy to take for granted the way the light peeks through a hole in the clouds, that shaft you see in the distance as though aliens are beaming someone up or down.  It is wondrous how the light shifts across buildings and fields and casts such intriguing shadows about.  Sunshine lights up the world.

Our world is able to sustain life because of the sun, and our distance from it.  Sunshine grows our food, sunshine gives us the distinction between day and night.

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The next time you have a clear sunny day, take a moment and step outside.  Turn your face to the sun, and feel its warm caress on your skin.  Consider how many odes, poems, stories, sonnets, plays and more have been inspired by sunshine.  There every day, even when hidden by clouds, lighting our world and watching over us.

The ancient civilizations treated the sun as a god or goddess.  Cultures across the globe have given the sun well-known personifications.  Ra in Egypt, Apollo in Rome, Sunna in Norse, Surya in Hindu, Amaterasu in Japan are just a few examples of gods and goddesses of the sun.  So powerful and wondrous is sunlight that ancient cultures personified our star.

Readily taken for granted, but always present, sunshine is truly a wondrous part of our world.

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, your “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” witty wordsmith.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my philosophical and topical opinions.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

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