Sunshine…. Oh how we love sunshine! Whether you’re walking on it, with a pocket full of it, with it on your shoulders, just let it in, have a good day…. don’t steal mine and there ain’t none when you’re gone! Yes, my word this week is sunshine, it makes me so happy, and I love all the sunshine songs! Sunshine is not just a happy sounding word, it also affects our happiness directly….. And it keeps us alive. It inspires us, warms us, and feeds us. Sunshine is a goddess- a warm, life giving goddess. The actual definition of sunshine is sunlight, unbroken by clouds over a large area- not something those of us from the beautiful PNW get in an overabundance… in fact we get so little many people get seasonal affective disorder- basically like seasonal depression. We have lots of snowbirds who chase the sunshine and head south for the winter once they are retired. I take vitamin D and, while I do not advocate for tanning bed use- it does help in the dark dreary months. Sunshine is just a happy word any way you look at it. Just look at all the songs about it (see the 2nd sentence of the post). There are dozens of songs with sunshine in the title, and artists from Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and John Denver to more contemporary artists like Natasha Bettingfield and Jason Mraz sing about it. Sunshine and happiness go hand in hand…. Unless it’s my daughter on a school morning getting angry at me for singing “wake up my little merry sunshine”- she usually isn’t impressed with Mom for waking her up. Myths and folklore about the sun have been around since the dawn of time.
It is my opinion that the sun is a goddess, but many of ancient civilizations felt it was a male god. Probably the most recognisable male deity was the Egyption sun god Ra. According to livescience.com, Legend has it that Ra would captain a boat with a crew of gods across the sky; at night Ra returned to the east via the underworld, bringing light to the dead. It was a treacherous journey; Apep, an evil serpent god, attempted to stop Ra by devouring him. Solar eclipses were thought to be days when Apep got the upperhand, but Ra always managed to escape. There is a Norse tale about their sun Goddess Sol (definitely a goddess) who spends her nights running from a wolf named Skoll and an eclipse is a sign that he is close to catching her. The moon was chased by Skoll’s brother Hati. The norse actually believed that one day the sun would finally be devoured which led to the huge battle or Ragnarok where the gods would die, the earth would flood… it would be an apocalypse that would wipe the earth clean to be repopulated by a pair of human survivors. The sun was not always a deity for some it was a demon, a mischievous spirit, an omnipotent creator or ruthless taker of life (Solar-center.stanford.edu). Whatever role it plays, most cultures have recognized the significance of the sun as a prime controller of life on earth. One thing is for sure, the sun is always perceived as power and strength and it has been worshiped for its life giving qualities since the dawn of time.
There are lots of sunshine sayings and I love one I found, it is credited to someone called Emerson “live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.”, it sounds so free, exciting and happy….. Inspiring! My personal favorite saying is one I sing almost daily….. “Good morning Merry Sunshine”, for a while I was banned because the little angel said it gave her a headache so she needed an alarm clock instead…. She was even less of a fan of the beep beep- so now we are back to merry sunshine mornings. This word was given to me by a former co-worker and it is a perfect word for her. Whenever I think of her, I think of a big brilliant smile and a halo of sunset-red hair. She was the seasoned version of what I wanted to be, and for the years we worked together she took me under her wing and was always there for me, reassuring and experienced. We have both moved on and I now follow her on social media, I enjoy seeing her grandkids and her continued adventures. This was also the perfect week to write about sunshine. It has been beautiful and sunny the last few days. It makes me long for the hot summer evenings and the beautiful sunset that is the color of my friend’s hair, listening to some KC and the Sunshine band.