Today really is a beautiful day. Every summer about mid-July to some point in August, I can't help but think "why would I ever want to live in this wasteland. It's impossible to do anything but melt in this kind of heat." I remember one afternoon, it was so hot that I my power windows stopped working in my car. I couldn't even roll my windows down to let the oven-door-open blast of wind in my face while my AC struggled to kick in.
(image courtesy of Drew's bitstrip obsession last year)I try really hard on days like that to remember days like today. There's a tinge of warm on the air, so you can still enjoy being outside, even late in the evening and night. There are so many possibilities of beautiful things to be able to do outside that it's almost possible to push the memory of melting in the summer from my mind.
One of the lines in the song that I really like is simply
There's something 'bout the way
your sun shines on my face
For me, that is so true. I love the sun.
That might sound like kind of a weird statement, but it's true. It's really got something for every aspect of my personality:
The physics nerd
- The sun is putting out ~10^26 W of power. That's a lot. Like, incomprehensible amount a lot. Of that, ~10^14 W hits the earth surface. That's about 1000 W every square meter. So, yeah, put 10 of the 100 W light bulbs every square meter around the entire earth. All the time. Every day. The sun is amazing.
- I know I'm not the most artsy of individuals, but I can't help but be inspired by the sun. It's been the source for quite a bit of really incredible music and poetry and is a symbol unlike any other. If you're walking out of a dark room into a brightly lit, sunny day, you can't help but be taken aback by its radiance. Stepping from shadows and shade into full sunlight, there is a powerful flood of warmth which is something I'd never get tired of singing or speaking about.
- In 8th grade, I had to pick a disease to do a report on. Somehow, I ended up studying Rickets. I got the second highest grade in the class, but really, all I remember is that when you run out of Vitamin D, your bones get all soft and shaped weird. The best way to counteract that is eating well and spending enough time in the sun. While we don't photosynthesize like plants (oh how cool that would be!!!), we do need some sunlight to keep some of the natural processes (like vitamin D utilization) going. Life in all of its forms (ok, fine, most of its forms- there are the chemotrophs at the bottom of the ocean that survive without direct connection to sunlight in any way) rely on the warmth and light of the sun.
- A friend once asked my why I like to lay out during the summer and tan. There really is only one thing that you can do well during the summer in Arizona, and that is get a tan. It's too hot to do anything else, but that makes for great tanning conditions. Really though, more than the tan, it's the fact that you can't rush it. Yes, you can go get a spray-on tan, or fake-bake, but the only way to get a real bona fide tan is to put in the time. The sun is consistent with its shining (see above), and you can't make it shine any faster or any slower. You have to be out there on its terms and let its warmth fall on your face. In a world that rushes so much and can't wait for something to get over that has only just begun, it's nice to sometimes do something that you really can't speed up.
What a beautiful day it is, and I love the sun so much! Go outside and enjoy a bit of the sun for yourself too!