“Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.” Ecclesiastes 11:7 (ESV)
The days are getting longer as spring has almost arrived and summer is waiting backstage, waiting for it’s starring role in desert seasons. It is wonderful to see the sun up in the sky longer. I soak up it’s rays and delight in having my shoes off outside, sitting bare-footed in the back patio letting the sun soak into my flesh. Light is surely sweet.
I didn’t realize how much I took the sun for granted until I moved from sunny Southern California and took up residence in New England for five years. I loved the four seasons, experienced large quantities of snow for the first time, and learned trees turned brilliant shades of orange and red in the fall. I realized quickly that the sun in New England was a timid thing compared to the confident and overbearing sun I knew from California. The sun in New England frequently disappeared for long periods of time, the clouds guarding its location. I counted seven weeks once when I didn’t see the sun in the sky. When the sun did come it was pleasant indeed for me to see the sun.
I didn’t realize how much my mood was affected by the sun shining its light on me. For those weeks when the sun was gone I noticed that I felt down. The short days and no sun made it difficult to go outside. I told my mom about my missing the sun and she bought me an infrared light for Christmas to help me cope with my sunlight withdrawal symptoms. I opened it Christmas morning with my husband and plugged it in to try it out. It’s bold shining light blinded us, chasing all darkness from our small apartment. Light is indeed sweet.
I set it up in my kitchen and cooked meals with its light shining on me. Placebo or not, it’s bright light felt good as I stirred the pot and washed dishes.
When we moved to sunny Twentynine Palms in the desert I rejoiced in the sunshine. No need for a fake-sun lamp here! But where the sun in New England was like a gentle deer, the sun in Twentynine Palms is a roaring lion. It’s over abundance bakes anything that is left outside; toys fade in the sun, skin burns, and flowers wither. But complaining about the blazing hot sun of Twentynine Palms is like complaining about the cold winters of New England. It’s the nature of the region I chose to live, I can’t do anything about it except to adapt. I invested in hats to ward off the sun’s relentless rays and drank lots of water. I learned that wearing light-weight long sleeves keeps you cool and helps with the adjustment of going from a 70-degree air conditioned building to outside where it could be 40 degrees hotter.
The days are getting longer here in the desert and the blazing sun is waiting for center stage and I couldn’t be happier. I had a card from my mother -in-law who lives in New England. She mentioned they haven’t seen the sun in a few weeks, but that’s New England for you!
I shuddered as I put the card back into it’s envelope and remembered how bleak sunless days are and thanked the Lord and He placed me here in the sunny desert.