Promise of Spring

We are like buds bursting and ferns unfurling, rising toward the warmth of the increasing sunlight - gathering in person and savoring restaurant meals. Possibilities are pushing up through what has been the cold, hard ground of COVID.

Soon, the sky will hold light until 6 pm – preparing our hearts further for Spring's arrival. On March 20th, we greet the vernal equinox – our days equal in length to our nights. After two years of waiting - adjusting and re-adjusting, we will welcome this Spring with more confidence.

As sunlight touches our skin, let us remember all who have given us the chance for a new dawning. Let warmth overflow for nurses and doctors and so many others who have held us, and hold us still. Let us also acknowledge the young children as yet unvaccinated, people with compromised immune systems, and families grieving lost loved ones. May our care, along with that of other countries shield those who long for life and freedom.

The sun's rays are a gift for our spirits and bodies – lifting our mood and refreshing us. It effects how much serotonin the body produces. Days with more sunshine have a greater impact on mood than does rainfall, temperature, or any other natural occurrence. In winter, people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can receive an energy boost with full-spectrum lights.

In a surprising way, sunlight helps you to sleep. When light enters the eye and is carried to the brain, it serves as information about the time of day, regulating your "circadian rhythm", and signaling your organs to function based on this internal body clock. When night approaches, serotonin is chemically transformed into melatonin. This system works well when your body receives only natural light, in an ancient synchrony with sunset and sunset. Modern society's artificial light, however, interrupts this balance.

A dark bedroom, cool temperatures, and the regular bedtimes of "sleep hygiene" can help you awaken refreshed for a new day. Whatever follows in that day, sleep helps you be more energetic, focused, and ready. Greet the morning sun with a hearty welcome!

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