The First Sunny Days of the Year

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter!”                   — Jen Selinsky

I had a few errands to run today so I left work a bit early.   As I stepped outside the building for the first time all day, I caught my breath.  It was warm!  And sunny! My mood instantly lifted.  I felt 20 years younger.

Nothing brings me greater joy than a warm sunny day after a long, dark, wet winter.  Oh sure, I know it’s a tease, but that glimpse of the sun makes my heart soar and brings hope that spring is around the corner.  I live the Pacific Northwest where we don’t get a lot of snow in winter but it rains.  All the time from about late September through late June.  We go weeks without seeing the sun.  Weeks. Some days it drizzles, some days it mists, some days it pours, some days it’s a steady rain, some days it comes in fits and spurts, but most days there’s some cold wet precipitation falling from the sky.

And then it’ll happen.  One day around March or April, the sun will break through.  The temperature will shoot up to the 60s.  And like those kids that get rescued from the mines in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, we all stumble outside, squinting in the sun, and we feel free.

When I left work I took off my coat. I rolled down the car window and cranked up some tunes.  I stopped every five seconds for the stream of pedestrians walking around soaking up some vitamin D and enjoying the warm sunshine.  Like me, they all had a little extra pep in their steps.

When I got home I sat on the patio while the dogs played in the yard, and even my furry little friends seems happy to see the sun.

The benefits of sunshine are well documented.  Exposure to sun helps the body create vitamin D, which is needed for many crucial body processes.  Sunshine increases serotonin levels which reduces feelings of depression and increases energy.

But there’s also the psychological benefit of those first warm sunny days: it gives you hope that winter is coming to end and spring is around the corner.  And for me, it makes the next couple of months of rain easier to take, because I know there will be these random warm sunny days to make it all feel better.

And nothing makes you appreciate a nice day like several weeks of crappy weather. I just need to remember that when the rain returns.

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