I never thought I would miss the sun when I left Arizona. I thought I had absorbed my fill of solar radiation and would love to move somewhere with brooding clouds and poetic rain.
I was wrong.
In a big step towards becoming my mom, I find it hard to be without the sun for too long these days. I love when it fills the air and warms my skin. Even on the hottest days I like to see it in the sky, to feel it in my hair.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the clouds. I love the way clouds decorate the sky, altering the light and keeping our view engaging and dynamic. I can even appreciate the occasional dark and gloomy day. It’s nice to have a break from the sun every now and then.
One of the most challenging parts of living where I do in Japan is that it feels like it rains every damn day. It does not actually rain every day, but for much of the year it is rare to go a week without rain. A large part of my disdain for the rain here is that I interact with it much more than I ever had to back in the US. When it is pouring rain, it severely impacts my 2 mile walking commute to work here, whereas back home it just meant I walked a little bit faster to the car to avoid getting soaked.
It might be, more than anything, the humidity. When it rains here, or even when it doesn’t rain during the rainy parts of the year, the humidity can be anywhere from 80-100%. The air is oppressive and I feel it suffocating me through every pore. It becomes difficult to move, to think, to remember what it feels like when the sky is clear and the air is light and the sun is warm on your face.
When I think about moving back to Arizona this summer, my first positive thought is returning to the huge, open skies and the sun coming more than the rain. In the end it just depends what sort of bad weather you’re willing to put up with. I’d much rather take the dry heat and the snow than the humidity and the rain. I guess that is something I’ve learned about myself in my two years in Japan.
I feel like a different person on the days I get to see the sun and it gets to see me. It could just be a simple vitamin D deficiency, or it could be the reminder that the sun gives us to live, to grow, to wake up and face the day and make the most of what we have before we get up and do it again tomorrow. The sun gives us strength. It gives us life and energy and a daily reminder that we are alive.
Today I can see the sun outside the office window, and even though I’ve been locked inside with nothing to do I find I’m still grateful for the sunlight.
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This post is day 2 of a 30 day blogging challenge.