Monday, November 29, 2004

What a difference the sun makes

Ah, winter is rapidly approaching. I have been meaning to write about this for a while, and tonight I noticed that my buddy Peter wrote on a similar subject so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.
The seasons are quickly changing, signified through shorter days, changing leaves, and the sharp chill in the air. Life without central heat has taught me a valuable lesson that you'd think I'd already know. The sun makes a huge difference. My dear friend and mentor Bailey McBride would always stress the importance of being in the sun on your emotional health, but honestly I never put that much stock into it.
That is until I came here. My first month and a half in Japan was filled with typhoons, rain and cloudy, wet weather. I think that contributed a lot to the severe culture stress and homesickness I went through. However, now that typhoon season is over and we have had more than our fair share of beautiful sunshiny days, I find that the proverbial cloud has lifted on many things. I wake up to the sun streaming through my blinds, bask in the sun as I wait for my bus in the mornings, and all day long get to enjoy a beautiful view of the sun gleaming off the Pacific Ocean through the windows of the classrooms at my school.
Beyond the emotional/spiritual benefits of the sun, I am also amazed at the sheer power of the sun. The temperature in any building plummets on a day that is cloudy from a day that is sunny. On a sunny day, if I leave my blinds open on my windows I return home to a cozy house that has been baking all day. As soon as the sun sets, I brace myself for the cold. Time to crank up the kerosene heater and electric blanket. And microfleece. Love the microfleece. :)
Perhaps this is a silly, simplistic blog. I don't know. But it's been on my mind. Thank God for the sun.

***feel free to draw any kind of spiritual metaphor you might want to with the whole sun/Son word interplay***

And oh yes, the changing of the seasons reminds me of a great song by Nichole Nordeman called "Every Season". It talks about how the transitions of nature can be a reflection of the seasons of our lives. This is the autumn verse:

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what's to come
You are autumn

Beautiful tree located across from the Mito Church. I love golden leaves!
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