I write this post from the exotic location that is known as Southend-on-Sea, in Essex, a county just outside London, where I will be ‘stationed’ at a Dental clinic for the next month (except at weekends).
Now Southend-on-Sea, is a pleasant place in the summer time, but as we approach Autumn (or ‘Fall’ for our friends across the pond) it becomes a very dreary and grey place.
This might have something to do with the fact that central Southend is a concrete jungle.
When the heavens open in Southend, one feels very inclined to go home and indulge in some form of escapism, whether that’s watching a movie, using the internet, or reclining to bed with a cup of white tea and a good book. No prizes for guessing what my favourite option is…
Is this sad?….or is this seasonal affective disorder?
Is seasonal affective disorder a symptom of a world that has lost hope?
However, I think the merits of sunlight are very clear.
The Sun gives life to all on Earth, plants need the sun’s light to grow, and we and all animals rely upon the energy of the Sun to survive.
The sun has remarkable healing properties on mood, health, and general well being.
In religion for example, the Egyptian’s worshiped ‘Ra’ the sun God, specifically the ‘mid day sun.’
Ra was the one god of Egyptian monotheism, of which all other deities were aspects.
In Zorastrianism, one of the world’s oldest faiths, ‘the energy of the creator is represented by fire and the Sun, which are both enduring, radiant, pure and life sustaining.’
The Bible uses instances of the Sun to explain spiritual concepts. The Sun is given a special significance in Genesis as well as the New Testament. In one parable, a woman representing the Light of Christ is said to be ‘clothed with the sun.’ Conversely, later in Revelation, when describing the End of Days, John describes one of the signs of the Day Of Judgement being the darkness of the sun.
Also, in the Qu’ran, Sura 91 is called ‘The Sun:’
“1 By the sun and his brightness,
2 And the moon when she followeth him,
3 And the day when it revealeth him,
4 And the night when it enshroudeth him…”
Baha’u’llah, founder of the Baha’i Faith uses the analogy of the Sun to represent, God and His Manifestations; ‘Sun of Truth’, ‘Sun of Divine Utterance,’ ‘Sun of Revelation’ to name just a few instances…
One quote in Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah that springs to mind is:
Consider again the sun when it is completely hidden behind the clouds. Though the earth is still illumined with its light, yet the measure of light which it receiveth is considerably reduced. Not until the clouds have dispersed, can the sun shine again in the plenitude of its glory. Neither the presence of the cloud nor its absence can, in any way, affect the inherent splendor of the sun. The soul of man is the sun by which his body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance, and should be so regarded.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 154)
There are many more instances of the positive imagery of the Sun and negative imagery of clouds in Baha’i and other religious texts…
However, lets not bash clouds and rain completely, there is also positive imagery of clouds, and (I’m not talking about Care Bears.)
Without clouds we would have no rain. Without rain, we would have no life, literally and symbolically.
We want ‘Clouds of Mercy,’ and ‘Divine Will,’ not ‘Clouds of Waywardness’
Whereupon the clouds of the Divine Will were raised to rain upon thee the outpourings of heavenly wisdom, to divest thee of all that thou hadst acquired aforetime, to draw thee from the realms of contradiction unto the retreats of oneness, and to lead thee to the sacred streams of His Law. Perchance thou mayest quaff therefrom, repose therein, quench thy thirst, refresh thy soul, and be numbered with those whom the light of God hath guided aright in this day
(Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 7)
Without Clouds and Darkness, how could we understand and appreciate the Sun and Light?
Without pain and suffering, how could we know joy and happiness?
So whilst rain and clouds in the sky might be a reason to get down in the dumps. It could also be a reason to rejoice for something greater that is to follow.
Maybe your day/evening will be more productive at home, going through those tax returns/ writing that blog entry/sending that email you’ve been putting off, since, well since last time it rained.
Maybe frolicking in the sunshine not doing much is too much of a good thing.
Just a thought for a rainy day.
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