I became very excited this morning as I looked out the window upstairs and thought I saw a stretch of clear sky. I dragged my boyfriend to the window only to realize it was just a layer of clouds on top of another layer of clouds. Bah humbug! I told him that if the sun would come out I would run outside and worship it. He laughed and continued to get dressed for work.
I have been pondering this concept of sun worship this morning. It is a very ancient concept dating back to the times of the ancient Egyptians http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/ra.htm , ancient Greeks http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/heliosmyth/Helios_Greek_Mythology_Helios.htm. and more recently the Native Americans http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/tawa.htm where their people worshiped the sun. The sun is such a necessity for good mental health for so many humans that it is no wonder that some cultures elevated it to the level of a god. The sun generally gives people a better disposition, a feeling of hope, energy, and it provides life to life nourishing vegetables and fruits. Physiologically it also prevents the onset of seasonal affective disorder. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/seasonalaffectivedisorder.html
When we moved to Portland this fall we were constantly warned by the natives that winter is coming. Having grown up in Western Kansas and living in N.E. Oklahoma where the sun is shining most of the time, I was a little unsettled by the prospect of not seeing it for large stretches of time. Now, I see it as a challenge, and I so love a good challenge.
Actually, it hasn't been that bad. In Oklahoma, we could have several days of rain, but it was heavy rain that never let up. In Portland, it is more of a mist or just a light rain or sprinkle. In Oklahoma after a rain, you would walk out and just smell the humidity and mold spores galloping through the air. Portland still smells fresh and clear outside after a rain. In fact, this is the first fall in many years that I have not been on an inhaler and at least two types of allergy medicine. There is an abundance of foliage in Portland, but it doesn't seem to affect my allergies.
I have also found that the lack of sun actually tends to slow me down and make me less worried and stressed. It is like a constant reminder to just relax and enjoy the day. It also seems to be goading me to work out and exercise more. Everyday I look for ways to workout and exercise. I ride my bike all over Portland, and I have committed to doing Yoga once a week. The clouds seem to energize me in a relaxing and calm way.
So, will I really change religions and start worshiping the sun? Although I appreciate the sun more and more, it is very doubtful I will make it a god. I do however understand better how ancient people could have made a god out of such a wonderful life giver as the sun.