With 284 sunny days, there is no shortage of sunshine in Tucson. It is a blessing, and I am grateful for it. Brief sunbath sessions in our backyard help me with one of the symptoms of my health challenge. It doesn’t take it away for long, but I enjoy the benefits as long as they last. And Romeo, our little Yorkie, adores the sun. Just mentioning the word “sunbath” brings him to the door waiting to join me. It has become a cherished ritual, and I look forward to it as much as he does.
Sunshine affects moods and mental attitude as well as physical health. Too much sun can be damaging, though, and moderation is a given, as we know now. This wasn’t always a known and accepted fact, and in my younger years, extended sessions in the sun and a fabulous tan were requisites for a great vacation. Living in Belgium with many overcast and dreary days, I felt compelled to spend my holidays in sunny countries, and Africa and the Middle East always attracted me. Beirut was a beautiful place to spend a vacation, and I understood why it was called “The Paris of the Middle East.” The yogi I worked with had one of his schools in Dakar, Senegal, and I liked to spend a week or two practicing yoga and exploring the surroundings. We didn’t know much then about skin cancer, and fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with any unwanted consequences.
Sunshine is vital to all life. We often take it for granted but making it a focal point makes us aware of the blessings the sun bestows on us. Being part of a sunrise is an exceptional experience. Try sitting quietly and let the serenity enter your mind and heart. A new day, a new beginning! It is a perfect moment for a meditation and a gratitude prayer. And don’t miss the sunset, with its pallet of incredible colors while the sun slowly disappears. Listening to the animals, some getting ready for the night, others preparing for their hunt, is a unique experience. A sunset meditation brings peace and harmony.
The spiritual meaning of the sun is multifold, and one can find it in many religions and teachings. For me, the sun is an integral part of life, and the beauty of a sunset and the promise of a sunrise fill me with gratitude.