Being in York, I’ve been noticed that if we have sunshine in spring, people start to wear strap-tops, flip-flops and shorts. We’re anxious for the summer to come; it’s been long enough waiting for winter to pack up and go home.
And then, in the British summer many of us are guilty of chasing the sun to sandy-beaches even if the weather is good back home (and I went to Corfu for 3 days in August!) The impetus is to make sure we get the Vit D we crave, to satisfy that hope of that well-travelled tan (and Ok, of course to spend time with family away from home.)
But what happens when we get sunshine when we don’t feel we need it? And not necessarily expecting it? When the summer holidays are over, many back to ‘normality’ and the clouds part in a last celebration of summer, us being this side of the solar system in this hemisphere?
Today I sat in an enclosed suntrap in front of a Scheduled Ancient Monument. There was a bench, some seats, and some tea & cake. And there was sunshine filling the skyline, through the trees and into this space.
I was talking to a man from Yorkshire, a few from North-Hamptonshire, and a couple of other local people. We talked local politics, bus timetables, the importance of working in retail and psychology of people. It wasn’t always a bubbling brook of conversation (some of it got quite heated!) but I don’t think I could have had that conversation indoors or on a cloudy day. Nor would I have been able to engage with passersby who paused to join in, taking off their sunglasses to see who they were really talking to.
What I noticed was that because we weren’t hunting for the sun (it had found us instead) the impetus to move was no longer an issue. We all were relaxed and we all engaged with each other, or at least tried to.
I guess I am musing on the social-solar relations that get achieved beyond the usual commercial aspects of sunshine hunting. Alongside the fact that sunlight is one of the ingredients to life, I want to call sunlight a material, a social commodity, and a social catalyst.
Have a sunny day!