Is there anything more pleasing, warm, and comforting than the glorious feel of the sun? Ok, granted it's been way too HOT (sweltering may be a better word) lately to appreciate this great big star in our sky, especially as the sweat runs down your back and the car's interior feels like it might be 300 degrees. The sun can also do quite a number on your bare feet if you happen to take-off across the parking lot or a sandy beach. And, an overdose to sun exposure can really burn your skin, causing some pretty intense pain, which some learn about the hard way, if you're not careful.
But, even as a red-head, I have an immense appreciation and I absolutely adore the sun. In my house, it is fondly referred to as "yellow face." So, after enduring the recent heatwave, I felt it was an opportune time to be reminded of the many upsides of mother nature's super bright and hot child.
The sun really is incredible. Per Wikipedia as opposed to my memory, it's the star at the center of our solar system and it's 85 percent brighter than the other stars in the Milky Way. Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth and we harness radiant light and heat from the sun, known as solar energy, using ever-evolving technologies.
During our summer season, the sunlight provides awesome and long summer days and evenings that are filled with the wonderful fragrances of cut grass, blooming landscapes and trees, and delicious backyard barbeques. And, with the sun's help you may even decide to pluck a tiny yellow flower, place it under your chin, and find out if you love butter. What fun!
The sun's rays penetrate through the skin giving us a daily dose of vitamin D, which is essential for good health. Personally, the sunlight literally energizes me. It feels like I am solar powered, as my energy level noticeably fades on cloudy days. In all honesty, I'd love nothing more than a long nap when it rains.
The sunshine warms our swimming pools, lakes, and oceans so we might enjoy a refreshing swim, and when the sunlight dances across the water, the sight is both calming and mesmerizing. Watching the sun rise or set is so special that we sometimes get up early just to see it rise and we might get lucky enough to find ourselves at the right time and place to see an extraordinary sunset. Its colors and spectacular beauty can make us feel wondrous and romantic.
"Yellow face" also makes the perfect pitcher of sun-tea and gives us a chance to sport our light and comfy shorts, sundresses, and flip-flops. And, the sun can heat-up the air and play a role in the formation of powerful and cooling thunderstorms. This activity can supply an enjoyable and amazing show, assuming there's no storm damage or power outages. I believe these summer storms serve to remind us that mother-nature is in charge and she loves to put on a show. Maybe she really enjoys seeing us stomp in the rain puddles, run for cover, or just stare out in amazement at her display. Whatever the case, she is absolutely inspiring and I will always be impressed.
In a final homage to my dear friend "yellow face, I will say that I feel very fortunate each time that I bask in your light, feel the joy of your warm embrace, and skip along a tree-lined path, energized by your bright, warm, and joyous light.
Donna Burke writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.