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  • Elizabeth Corrall

Give Me Some Sun!

I relish in winter. I hate the long, drawn out days of summer where the heat physically hurts my body and makes it impossible to sleep. Summer is beautiful, but winter is too. Something about how the nights are so long and the world is embraced by darkness, where being wrapped up in a jumper, coat, scarf, gloves, hat and big boots just makes me happy. Maybe it’s because it means I don’t have to be as social, maybe it’s because of the amount of time dedicated to resting and eating comfort food. Either way, I am always thrilled when the mornings begin to turn cold, and frost forms around the pavements.


Why then, is winter so draining? I reach Christmas and suddenly the world becomes impossible to navigate, exhausting and too cold. The darkness becomes unbearable and the cold days become too much effort. Maybe it’s the static nature of winter. Sue, sometimes it snows in England, sometimes we get a lot of snow. But usually, it’s just rain, rain, rain. Every week the sun seems to retreat. There is a coldness to winter when there’s nothing to look forward to but the darkness that ekes in so early in the days.


The darkness, the rain and the unrelenting cold get to most of us in the end. Earlier in February I noticed that my cheese plant was sprouting leaves with no signature holes. The lack of sunlight had got to it, it was so deprived of the warmth of spring that it could not produce any leaves with holes. Houseplants are hardy things, being able to tolerate most weather so long as you keep them topped up with water and away from heat. But the feelings of winter seemed to be too much for the little cheese plant. He’s becoming a regular plant, tired of the cold and in need of some sun.


It’s almost as though we crave the heat of the sun; the vitamin D it gives us is probably the answer as to why, but there’s also a sense of hibernation. In winter, a lot of us just do what we need to get by before getting home and going to sleep again. As soon as I get in the habit of sleeping in late and struggling to focus, I know I need that sunshine.


Amidst the rain today, as I’m writing this, there were the tiniest hints of spring. The hail storms cleared to a sunshine that wasn’t contrasted with biting cold, no, the sunshine was warm. It felt like the beginning of the end of winter. The barrier of cold on the world was finally starting to crack, and the heat of the sun was able to push through, making the grass glimmer from the rain, the pavements glow from the sun and the rain feels invigorating rather than a dull slog.


The world was suddenly revived, the smallest hints of heat seemed to shock the world back to life. Shock the beauty back into the world. Everything seemed to sing as one, the birds, the wind, the trees, and the birds all glimmered in the sun, a sense of new hope. Suddenly, the world didn’t seem nearly as bad as it had that morning. The warmth of spring was all I needed to find that sense of joy again.


I got home and noticed that my Christmas cactus was flowering, a bit late, but the pink buds were coming out. The small amount of sun had encouraged my plant to flower. Sure, my cheese plant may still not be perfect, but the warmth of spring and the glow of the sun will do wonders to heal.


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