Inspiration Short #6: Bask in the sunshine

by Danielle Charles

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” Nathanial Hawthorne

Inspiration Short #6: Bask in the golden light of autumn and let it warm your soul.

One of the best feelings in the world has got to be laying on the soft grass, bathed in the warmth of a sunny September afternoon. It really doesn’t get any better. Perhaps it is simply the knowing that the precious warmth and golden light is slipping out of our grasp little by little each day  – but there is just something about the sunlight in the autumn that is so magical. The shadows are long, the dazzling light making the golds, oranges and reds of the hillsides appear luminous. And when the air has just the tiniest hint of a chill to it, basking in those golden rays is so deeply warming and nurturing, almost as though the heat is penetrating to your very spirit.

And I may be getting a tad bit romantic about it, but in many ways, sunlight really does warm the spirits. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the pineal gland in the brain to increase production of the neurotransmitter serotonin – which promotes a joyful mood and calm, centered demeanor. (I like to think that serotonin is transmitting the energy of the sun within us, filling our spirit with warmth and brilliant light.) Sunshine also increases the production of endorphines – opiate like chemicals that enhance feelings of well-being and reduce perception of pain.

Of course, you’ve probably also heard that sunshine is necessary for stimulating vitamin D production, playing its own role in mood regulation, as well as being necessary for strong bones, the optimum functioning of your immune system,  cancer prevention and the health of your heart just to name a few. (Interesting to think that in our avoidance of the sun’s so called damaging UV rays, we may have actually been enhancing our risk for cancer rather than protecting ourselves – but that is a story for another day).

So, while the days are still holding that last bit of summer’s warmth and the weather is mild and gentle – get out and enjoy the sunshine while you still can. Lay down in a peaceful spot, close your eyes, and feel that sunshine enveloping you in it’s warm embrace.