“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”–Hans Christian Andersen
Today is one of those manufactured holidays that anyone can enjoy. Each year on May 19th, many North Americans celebrate the actuality of Springtime’s beginning. Even though the Vernal Equinox occurred in March, springlike weather doesn’t remain steady for many parts of the continent until approximately mid May. For instance, some regions felt the invasions of Arctic air masses earlier this month. A few non-mountainous areas experienced light frost. Some places saw a little bit of snow.
By the time the middle of May has passed, we can be reasonably sure that warm weather has finally settled into most of the Northern Hemisphere. Hence, we have May Ray Day to celebrate the Sun’s rays.
I love the concept of sunny days but the reality of spending much time outdoors in the sunshine is hazardous for red haired, fair skinned people like me. Last year’s May Ray Day bluejayblog post describes some of the difficulty sunshine has caused ever since my childhood. However, in spite of the hazards sunny days bring, sunshine still brightens my mood. The outdoors still calls, but I try to stay in the shade.
“There is inestimable blessing in a cheerful spirit. When the soul throws its windows wide open, letting in the sunshine, and presenting to all who see it the evidence of its gladness, it is not only happy, but it has an unspeakable power of doing good.”–19th century motivational writer, Orison Swett Marden
The vast majority of us enjoy sunny weather. Most of my friends like to spend as much time as possible outdoors on nice days. Although some Nebraskans grouse during rainy or snowy days, if there are too many consecutive days of hot sunshine, they pine for rain because the ground is too dry. For the sake of small talk, I try to listen to their complaints with an open mind because they try to be tolerant of my love for gorgeous, cold, winter days. I hang onto memories of winter until May, then I accept the reality of hot, muggy days and nights.
“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.”–19th century orator and writer, Robert Green Ingersoll
Ingersol reminds us that we all have positive qualities. If we exercise them, we can feel better about ourselves and be of greater benefit to people around us. If there is one happy takeaway about May Ray Day, it is his comparison of kindness to sunshine. Regardless of whether the weather forecasts sunshine or rain, I hope you have a sunny day.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes social commentator, professor, and writer, Roxane Gay. “I have known beaches, but I have no particular fondness for them. I don’t like sand in my crevices. I don’t like sand at all. I don’t enjoy all that sunshine and heat without the benefit of climate control.”