I woke up this morning, wondering why I felt like it was still nighttime. The light had an eerie, grey quality to it that made me feel like I was back in New Hampshire. I popped out of bed, tore open the curtains and found…yes! It was cloudy outside! At last! The day I had been waiting for was finally here! A cloudy day in Colorado! It was a miracle.
Wishing for a cloudy day may seem moronic especially because I’m choosing to live in a place that openly prides itself for having 300 days of sunshine on average each year. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunlight. When some friends came to visit me from Boston last February, they told me I looked “tan.” This is a falsehood even in the dead of summer, however, as I never truly become tan but rather a deceptive pink color that only appears tan until it is compared to the skin tone of about 90% of the surrounding population.
The point, I think, was that despite it being winter, I had a healthy amount of “alpenglow” in my complexion compared to my friend’s deep winter, New England pallor. In the wintertime, especially, I love the amount of sun that Colorado receives.
During the height of summer, though, when days seem to be reaching 100 degrees on the regular, the sun can be…relentless.
Growing up in New Hampshire, which can easily pride itself on having a mediocre number of sunny days in a year (I am not joking when I say we only have about 40 more days of sunshine per year than SEATTLE), I became used to waking up to the sound of rain gently pattering on my windowsill; the ease in which one awakens to the peaceful rainfall; the relaxed feeling the day takes as you decide to do laundry inside, make tea, and talk with your friends. We almost literally had to “make hay while the sun shined.” In other words, when you had a sunny day, you sure as heck did not waste it indoors.
Thus, now that I am located in an almost 50% sunnier locale, I have a hard time turning off. Every morning I wake up to another sunny day, and my sun-rarity complex urges me to GO OUTSIDE AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY WAKING MOMENT OF SUNLIGHT OR ELSE YOU HAVE COMPLETELY WASTED NOT ONLY THIS DAY BUT COMMITTED THE CARDINAL SIN OF BEING A TIME WASTER AND ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR COMPLETE FAILURE IN ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. It’s fun. I’m training myself out of this complex, and allowing myself the necessary time indoors while also taking as much advantage of the sun as I can.
Even so, waking up to a cloudy day was an enormous relief. The temperature was much cooler than it’s been in a while, and I could actually walk outside without sunglasses (cool.). During the afternoon, it actually began to rain, a soothing balm for the scorching heat we’ve been experiencing. The land drank up the rain thirstily, and as I walked through the big droplets, letting them soak my hair, everything felt clean once again.